A little over a year after Disney CEO Bob Iger announced plans for a streaming service and Disney+ is here.
Having launched in the US last week, today marks the first day Australian viewers can sign up for the service.
And while the launch seems to have arrived relatively quickly, it’s been a long time in the making for the media giant.
The high-profile acquisition of 21st Century Fox, which was finalised earlier this year, has been an important piece in ensuring the content quality is up to standard, while the purchase of streaming technology business BAMTech gives Disney the technical capability to deliver the service.
Here’s everything you need to know about Disney+.
The service will cost $8.99 a month or $89.99 per year. There is also a seven-day free trial available.
In the US it is also available at a slightly discounted price as part of a bundle with ESPN Plus and Hulu.
While it looked as though Disney+ and Stan might be teaming up at one point, there are no immediate plans for a bundle option in Australia.
Disney+ is also advertising free.
Just about every Disney title you can think of. This includes all the animated family classics and Pixar movies.
There is also content reflecting acquisitions from Marvel, National Geographic, Lucasarts (Star Wars) and 20th Century Fox (all 29 seasons of The Simspons will be available).
Like Netflix, Disney is also making a concerted push into original programming alongside its backlog content.
Star Wars prequel series The Mandalorian reportedly costs the company around $US15 million per episode.
There is also a High School Musical spin-off for millennial fans.
One interesting feature on Disney+ is the disclaimer that has been added to older titles like Dumbo and Peter Pan.
To address the sometimes problematic racial stereotypes used in such films, Disney reminds viewers: “This program is presented as originally created. It may contain outdated cultural depictions.”
Other films with the disclaimer include The Jungle Book and Swiss Family Robinson.
The reaction so far
Disney has promised the service would shake up the global streaming market and so far it has.
Local providers Stan and Foxtel have been forced to remove some Disney-owned content to make way for the new service, while in the US, Disney has banned Netflix advertisements from all of its TV channels except ESPN.
But even with this turf war between streaming providers playing out, audiences have been coming to the new service.
The company recently revealed that 10 million people signed up for the Disney+ in the US on the first day.
However, it wouldn’t say how many of these subscribers had accessed the service through a current Verizon promotion, which gives some of the mobile carrier’s customers a free year of the service.
It has been somewhat of a shaky start for the streaming newcomer.
The launch in the US was marred by technical glitches which saw thousands of users unable to connect to the service.
ZDNet has also revealed security issues around the new service. The publication found a host of hacked accounts available for sale on the dark web, with prices ranging from $3 to $11.
Additionally, users have swarmed to social media to complain about their accounts being hacked.
Not even been half of a week and my dad’s Disney+ account has ALREADY been hacked.
— Jesse (@CommandrBlitzer) November 15, 2019
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