What We Know About Disney+ - UK launch confirmed for 31st March 2020
Disney are poised to take on Netflix with their own streaming service that will feature the best of Disney films - including their own animated output, their Marvel catalogue and Star Wars. We assume with the 20th Century Fox merger, Fox properties will become a Disney+ staple too.
In addition, Disney+ is set to become home to Disney's TV productions including brand new shows that will include Star Wars spin-offs, The Mandalorian and the Cassian Andor spy show.
We've now had our first look at the interface for Disney+ confirming the major Disney staples are there - Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic. It appears to be similar to what we've seen previously with Disney Life.
When will Disney+ launch?
The network is launching in the US, Canada and the Netherlands on 12th November 2019. Australia and New Zealand will follow slightly later on 19th March.
UK viewers will be able to watch Disney+ from 31st March 2020 alongside viewers in Germany, France, Italy and Spain.
Further worldwide rollouts will continue through 2020 and 2021.
How much will Disney+ cost?
Disney now suggest they're pricing the platform below the standard Netflix cost. Disney have previously dabbled with a streaming network in the UK with Disney Life with a monthly cost of £4.99. Disney Life is far smaller than Disney+ is set to be with no exclusive, specially filmed content on that platform.
How will I be able to watch Disney+?
Again this is a question that we're waiting for confirmation on but we fully expect the full suite of phone and tablet apps on launch. Smart TV platforms might take longer to roll out and to date, Disney Life hasn't had any support on Roku devices.
However, Disney Life, does have an Android TV app so we expect Android TV powered devices will benefit from Disney+ reasonably early on - this would include the Nvidia Shield and Sony Android TV powered televisions.
It is in Disney's interest to launch the service on as many platforms as possible as, going head to head with Netflix without having similar coverage options is likely to be a challenge.
If Disney+ doesn't launch in the UK immediately, how will I be able to watch shows like The Mandalorian?
We would hope that Disney would ink agreements with existing TV streaming platforms in markets where they haven't launched Disney+ - however they may decide that the content exclusivity to their service is worth more than the potential fallout from people pirating shows in unexploited markets.
Due to the high profile of the upcoming Disney+ shows, we would expect Disney to focus on ensuring there are legal methods of watching them in markets outside of the US.
Is there likely to be anything in the Disney library the Disney+ network doesn't carry?
Given the breadth of Disney's properties there will be some exclusions. Disney+ will not carry any R-rated content in the US and this would seemingly exclude some of their newly acquired Fox output. It is likely that Disney will arrange third-party broadcast arrangements for some of those titles.
What will Disney+ carry?
In the first year Disney will be carrying more than 7,500 television episodes and 500 movies. It will launch with 5,000 episodes of Disney Channel content and 100 Disney Channel Original Movies. There will be 250 hours of National Geographic content including Free Solo and a newly commissioned series - The World According to Jeff Goldblum.
We've already mentioned their existing movie options - we expect all of the Star Wars films to appear on the service now that they company owns everything from the Fox-produced films right through to their more recent Disney produced films including The Force Awakens, Solo, Rogue One, The Last Jedi and the currently untitled Episode IX. We also know that Disney+ will feature The Mandalorian and the Cassian Andor show. Finally the final season of The Clone Wars is expected to debut on Disney+
In terms of Marvel we expect all of the films to feature, including those that were previously created by Fox which would include the X-Men films. In addition, Disney have confirmed they are working on a number of Marvel-based TV shows that will feature characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe - a show featuring Tom Hiddleston's Loki is already confirmed. More shows based on Marvel Studios characters, including Vision and Scarlet Witch - now confirmed to be titled WandaVision, Falcon and The Winter Soldier, are also expected, with the respective movie actors returning to reprise their roles. And a Hawkeye series has been announced too, with Jeremey Renner's Clint Barton expected to pass the mantle to a new Hawkeye Kate Bishop. Finally we also know that Disney are developing a Marvel 'What If' series with the first animated offering to look at what if Peggy Carter took the super soldier serum instead of Steve Rogers.
Captain Marvel will launch Disney+ and will be there from day one.
The entire Disney Classics library will be ripe for inclusion on the platform including the traditional animation, recent films such as Moana and Frozen and Pixar's movies including things like Toy Story. A Monsters Inc TV show has been commissioned that will see John Goodman and Billy Crystal returning to their roles of Sully and Mike. In addition Lady and the Tramp is getting a live action remake for Disney+.
Togo, a new original film starring Willem Dafoe, tells the real-life tale of a man and his lead sled dog's incredible journey through the Alaskan tundra and will be appearing on Disney+ in the first year.
Of the Fox material, Disney have already confirmed that The Simpsons is to appear on the service. There will be a new Phineas and Ferb film launching exclusively on Disney+.
There is the possibility that Disney could also licence third-party content, but none has been confirmed to date.