Disney launched its much-anticipated streaming service, Disney Plus, in the United States, Canada and the Netherlands today.
Disney+, which is expected to pose a huge threat to streaming giant Netflix, launches at a time when online streaming competitiveness is at an all-time as other companies prepare to enter the fray.
The media conglomerate comes on stream with one of the most diverse offerings available thanks to its ownership of several production companies and rights that give it possession of popular television shows and movies including The Simpsons, Avatar and wildly successful film franchises in the Marvel Cinematic Universe such as Avengers, Thor and Captain America.
Original scripted programming has also been a focus of Disney+ in the lead-up to its launch with a reported US$1 billion spent in its first year to develop content.
The service’s Marvel television shows “Falcon and the Winter Soldier”, “WandaVision” and “Hawkeye” will cost between US$150 million and US$200 million each to produce six to eight episodes each, according to reports.
Subscription to the service will cost users US$6.99 per month, in comparison to Netflix’s average of US$12.99 monthly.
Netflix has been hard-hit by the loss of content from licensing deals with companies now looking to start their own streaming service. The market leader is expected to spend approximately US$12 billion developing its own content this year, increasing to US$15 next year as it tries to stave off competition.
Apple TV+ launched in over 100 countries and regions at the beginning of the month. Apple TV+ launched with all original content, one of the lowest subscription fees at US$4.99 per month and star-studded programming with Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Oprah Winfrey all featuring prominently.
Additional competition is expected in the New Year as NBCUniversal launches its “Peacock” service in April and AT&T’s HBO Max enters in May.
Netflix currently leads the market, which also includes Amazon Prime and Hulu, with 150 million subscribers.