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Disney's New Streaming Service: What You Need to Know

By Daniel Sparks - Apr 13, 2019 at 5:11PM

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Shares soared more than 11% after the media giant unveiled Disney+ this week.

On Thursday, Walt Disney (DIS 1.84%) gave investors a first look at the company's long-awaited Disney-branded streaming service and shared further details about its plans for Hulu and ESPN+. The update didn't disappoint, as shares soared more than 11% after the Investor Day presentation.

Here's what you should know about the upcoming Disney-branded streaming platform. 

Disney+ logo

Image source: Walt Disney.

Meet Disney+

Disney executives communicated a clear and bold vision for its new streaming service on Thursday.

"We are confident that the combination of our unrivaled storytelling, beloved brands, iconic franchises, and cutting-edge technology will make Disney+ a standout in the marketplace, and deliver significant value for consumers and shareholders alike," said Disney CEO Robert Iger in a press release about the Investor Day presentation.

The new subscription service will launch in the U.S. on Nov. 12 for a competitive monthly price of $6.99. It will feature content from Disney, Pixar, Marvel Studios, Star Wars, National Geographic, and titles from its recent acquisition of Fox assets, including The Sound of Music, The Princess Bride, and more. In total, the service will feature over 7,500 television episodes and 500 films.

Beefing up the service's value proposition will be "25 original series and 10 original films, documentaries, and specials," Disney said. Notable original series developed for the service include The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, starring Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan; WandaVision, starring Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany; and more.

But one of the most compelling perks for Disney+ is that it will be the exclusive home to all Disney Studios films launched in 2019 and beyond. This, of course, includes Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame, Toy Story 4, Frozen 2, Star Wars: Episode IX, and remakes of Aladdin and The Lion King.

The media giant is going all in on Disney+, planning to ramp up its content spend for the service to $2 billion per year by 2024. But the company believes consumers will respond to the service optimistically. Management forecasts the service garnering between 60 to 90 million subscribers within five years.

Beyond Disney+

Of course, Disney's ongoing evolution to a direct-to-consumer business model features more than Disney+.

The company's recent acquisition of Fox assets importantly gave Disney a controlling stake in Hulu, the fastest-growing streaming video service in the United States. In addition, Disney has big hopes for its 2018-launched ESPN+ streaming service. Management believes the service can grow to 8 million to 12 million subscribers by the end of fiscal 2024, up from about 2 million today.

Disney's Investor Day update on its streaming plans articulated a clear path for the company to not only survive in an evolving entertainment landscape -- but to thrive.

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