With the end of the calendar year approaching so to is the agreement between streaming giant Netflix and mega-corporation Disney. It's been well publicized that Disney plans on launching its own "Disneyflix" late next year, effectively ending a $300 million per year revenue stream it currently enjoys from loaning its products out to Netflix.
Well that comes to a end on January 1st with Solo: A Star Wars Story being the last Star Wars film to air on the popular streaming service. Along with all the other franchises Disney owns such as Marvel and Pixar, the company plans to offer subscribers a slew of Star Wars related content starting with Jon Favreau's highly anticipated live action series. The first six Star Wars films may not be available until 2024 thanks to a previous deal with AT&T/Turner Broadcasting, but that is another matter.
Up until now we haven't had much to go on as far as details are concerned, but we now know at least what the service will be called potentially and what it may cost. Variety is reporting on the state of the industry, in particular, how companies are preparing for a digital future and one of the items they report on is what we can expect from the Disney streaming service.
Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, had this to say...
“We have the luxury of programming this product with programs from those brands or derived from those brands, which obviously creates a demand and gives us the ability to not necessarily be in the volume game, but to be in the quality game, it is the biggest priority of the company during calendar year 2019." He also said as far as the amount of product to stream is concerned, “We’re going to walk before we run as it relates to volume of content”
He referred to the service as "Disney Play", something we haven't heard before and its likely to stick. Or course that could all change but it's a deliberate reference to the service which up until now the media has been calling, "Disneyflix".
As far as the cost is concerned, they are counting on an "exclusivity factor" to draw fans in knowing people will be reluctant to pay for yet another service when they are already tapped out. We've known for some time that the monthly fee will be lower than Netflix, something Iger has been saying since the service was announced. The number most commonly heard is in the $7.99 range and that seems to be what you can expect if the company wants to keep the price down but remain competitive at the same time.
Todd Juenger of Bernstein Research is estimating it will take 40 million subscribers paying $6/month for Disney to break even on "Disney Play". He rightly points out that with a service of this type, huge costs are associated with it such as programming and marketing costs. One thing Disney has already done from an infrastructure standpoint, is shell out big dollars to companies such as BAMtech, who they acquired for $2.6 billion to handle the digital streaming side of things.
So, will you be on board for "Disney Play" at a potential price tag of $7 per month when it launches next year? Doesn't seem like we'll have much of a choice if you plan on legally watching Star Wars content at the touch of a button.
You can read the full article at Variety by clicking HERE.
Till next time...MTFBWY.
UPDATE: Variety has updated their story with a correction:
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly cited Disney Play as a working name for Disney’s streaming service.
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