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Disney+ streaming service sets November launch as it looks to rival Netflix

The company said that after launching in the US on November 12 at $6.99 per month.

Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

DISNEY ANNOUNCED THAT its video service will launch in the US in November as it attempts to take a slice of revenue from streaming giants Netflix.

The company said that after launching in the US on November 12 at $6.99 (€6.20) per month, Disney+ will gradually expand internationally, starting in Europe.

The firm plans to make the streaming service available in all major regions of the world within two years.

The service will offer Disney’s films and TV shows, along with the library it acquired from Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox. That includes the “Star Wars” and Marvel superhero franchises and ABC television content.

Last month Walt Disney Co. closed its $71 billion deal for the film and television assets of 21st Century Fox as the “legacy” producers controlling Hollywood seek to fend off Netflix and other streaming firms including Amazon.

Details about Disney+ were shared by executives at an annual investor day, where chief executive Bob Iger said the streaming service would combine the strengths of Disney and the assets acquired from Fox.

“The Disney+ platform is being built on that foundation, one that no other content or technology company can rival. We knew the best approach to the market was to create great content and distribute it in innovative ways. It is that simple,” Iger said.

Disney+ will combine offerings from powerhouse brands including Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars with content from Hulu and sports network ESPN.

Disney stressed plans to use its coveted content, and original creations to come, to differentiate itself in the increasingly competitive streaming television market.

The entertainment company was arranging to get Disney+ on a broad array of smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles, set-top boxes and smart televisions, according to executives.

Big spending on shows

Disney will invest heavily in the new streaming service, which is not expected to become profitable until 2024, chief financial officer Christine McCarthy told investors.

The company projected that it would have from 60 million to 90 million subscribers by that time, with two-thirds of them outside the United States.

“We will be aggressive in our efforts, and we believe we will succeed,” McCarthy said.

But John Meyer, an analyst and Transpire Ventures partner said he strongly believes Disney will not become a threat to Netflix.

“Netflix now knows what people want more than anybody,” he said.

With reporting by © – AFP 2019

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