Disney announced the official rate for their Disney+ service during its quarterly earnings call — valuing the streaming platform at only $7.99 a month — a gaspingly low price compared to its rival companies.
For about $8 a month, potential consumers would have access to nearly all things Disney, including widely popular content from Marvel, Pixar, and Star Wars.
Meanwhile, Disney execs also confirmed a price tag for the bundled streaming experience and said that it would offer a Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and the advertising-supported version of Hulu bundle for $12.99 a month. Doing the math, that’s about $5 less than subscribing to them separately.
With this pricing, Disney is seemingly determined to rival Netflix, given that it will be precisely the same as Netflix’s most popular plan in the US.
When Disney announced its “initial” $7 per month price tag for Disney Plus in April, investors and analysts were surprised with how low the company was willing to offer the service. Comparatively, it’s approximately half the cost of HBO Now and significantly less than Netflix’s most popular plan.
Disney noted that ESPN Plus is designed to complement the company’s sports network and not to mirror the actual television programming. Users subscribing to ESPN Plus can expect similar or related shows, however.
With the launch of Disney+ coming close, CEO Bob Iger stressed that “nothing is more important” than starting a direct-to-consumer offering right. “It’s going to be treated as the most important product that the company has launched … certainly during my tenure,” he said.
Iger said consumer marketing for Disney Plus would start to roll out within the next month. Currently, the Disney Plus team is focusing their energy towards ensuring a seamless subscriber experience, especially the part at the very beginning where prospective consumers have to sign up. “We know how important it is to create a frictionless experience,” he said.
Furthermore, consumers can also expect more from the streaming service, as the platform is also in the works of producing originals specially made for Diney+.
Disney Plus will launch with more than 300 movie titles on day one, growing to 400 by the end of its first year. The tall includes eight Star Wars pics, 18 Pixar-produced features, 70 from the Disney animation vault, and some 7,500 episodes of television.
There will also be four from Marvel and another eight more by the end of the first year. Notably, shows like Loki, WandaVision, and Hawkeye, which are inspired and played by original characters from the Marvel movies were announced during the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con.
Iger said the Disney Plus originals are coming in strong. He’s watched the first season of The Mandalorian, the Star Wars-themed live-action series.
Also, Disney is looking to take advantage over the $71.3 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox earlier this year by adapting franchises like Home Alone and Night at the Museum. Iger said last Tuesday that Disney is interested in “reimagining” those franchises and others like Cheaper by the Dozen and Diary of a Wimpy Kid “for a new generation.”
“I’ve been really impressed with the quality and the variety and the volume” of original production for Disney Plus, Iger said.
There’s also the possibility of the FX team producing original series for Hulu but will ultimately end up running on the traditional network.
Iger noted that the company is preparing itself “to be more resilient than any of our competitors should the traditional side erode so significantly that it is not as viable as it was.”
Recognizing that the conventional cable is fading to the grasp of online streaming platforms, Disney is on a “balancing act,” as it weighs how much to invest in its new direct-to-consumer businesses, especially when the company still has to manage its traditional linear TV operations including ABC, Freeform and, FX.
“It is important for us to continue to fuel those channels with enough quality and original programming to support these businesses as they exist today,” Iger said.
At the same time, “the pivot to direct to consumer businesses is designed not only to address the opportunity that exists in that space but also to address the challenges that exist in the traditional side,” the CEO added.
The bundle of Disney direct-to-consumer properties will be available for purchase on Nov. 12.
People who will be attending Disney’s biennial fan conference in Anaheim, D23, are going to be the first to sign up as subscribers, which opens on Aug. 23.