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Watch new and classic TV and movies from Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel, National Geographic and 21st Century Fox from one streaming service.
Disney announced plans for its own streaming service Disney+ back in 2017. It joins an increasingly crowded marketplace, dominated by Netflix globally but with plenty of other newer competitors, including Apple TV+ and HBO Max.
Disney+ will host several new exclusive TV series including Star Wars spin-offs The Mandalorian and Obi-Wan Kenobi, and a new take on High School Musical, as well as new Disney movies such as the new live-action version of Lady and the Tramp.
Most existing Disney TV shows and movies will eventually end up on the streaming service. That means not just cartoons, but also content from the worlds of Marvel, Pixar and Fox (which Disney acquired in early 2019). Disney is also stepping up with 4K content.
At 9am (AEDT) 19 November, the countdown finally finished and Disney+ went live in Australia.
|Country||Release date||Price per month|
|USA||12 Nov 2019||US$6.99|
|Canada||12 Nov 2019||CA$8.99|
|Netherlands||12 Nov 2019||€6.99|
|Australia||19 Nov 2019||AUD$8.99|
|New Zealand||19 Nov 2019||NZD$9.99|
|Parts of Europe||31 Mar||TBA|
Disney is investing heavily in original content for Disney+. This echoes what competitors like Netflix and Amazon are already doing. To begin, the company will rely on established brands instead of exploring new avenues, but its focus might change as time goes by.
In November 2018, Bob Iger confirmed that there are at least two original live-action Star Wars TV shows coming to Disney+. The Mandalorian is a series that follows the exploits of a Mandalorian bounty hunter (of Boba Fett's ilk) during the rise of the First Order by Jon Favreau (who brought us the live-action Iron Man).
Next up is an original series led by the roguish spy Cassian Andor, a conflicted rebel who fights ruthlessly for the greater good. Diego Luna will reprise his role as Cassian from the movie Rogue One. Considering that movie's climactic finale, we're assuming it will be a prequel.
On the movie front, Disney is investing in a slate of book adaptations. The list includes The Paper Magician by Charlie N Holmberg, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli, the Timmy Failure series by Stephan Pastis and Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes.
Also bound for the streaming service are Magic Camp with Adam Devine, Gillian Jacobs and Jeffrey Tambor, as well as Christmas movie Noelle starring Anna Kendrick and Bill Hader. Live action remakes of Three Men and a Baby and The Sword in the Stone will also premiere on Disney+.
Throughout 2019, further details about the platform's lineup were released. There will be several titles available at launch, including more than 250 hours of content from Nat Geo, and 100 Disney Channel Original Movies. Captain Marvel will exclusively be available on Disney+ , as will all Pixar theatrical shorts.
In its first year, Disney+ will make available all Star Wars and Pixar films, as well as more than 7,500 episodes and 500 films from the Disney library. As for new movie productions, we can expect Togo, Timmy Failure and Stargirl to make their debut on Disney+ in year one as well.
It's easiest to sign up via the Disney+ website. To sign up to Disney+ all you'll require is an email address plus your debit or credit card handy. Register for an account, drop in your card details and you'll be good to start watching.
Yes even though there's a free trial period your card details are required.
Disney+ can be viewed in a large number of ways. Disney+ will be available on iOS and Android devices. There will be an app for PS4 and Xbox One game consoles. On the big screen you can use Apple TV, Chromecast, Amazon Firestick or Android TV for streaming for another device. Some Samsung and LG TVs also have built-in Disney+ support. All content on Disney+ is in HD.
That's good news with newer shows, but some older TV shows have been "cropped" from their original 4:3 ratio. (Those changes were particularly controversial for The Simpsons, where some visual gags were effectively ruined). They've since announced an amendment.
You can stream on up to four devices at once. Unlike Netflix, Disney+ isn't charging extra for the ability to watch on multiple screens. Parents will be happy to know you can set up a Kids Profile, to ensure your kids don't see inappropriate material.
Disney+ will have substantially less content at launch than Netflix currently does. In the US, it launched with 645 movies and 168 shows. Australia's numbers though was surprisingly higher with 816 titles.
It is slightly cheaper than Netflix's basic plan, though, at $8.99 a month, and includes features such as 4K which attract a premium on other streaming services. You can also pay $89.99 for a year-long subscription, which is a 16% saving on the monthly price. It's possible that Foxtel will copy the approach it used with Netflix and offer a Foxtel-and-Disney-+ bundle, but nothing has been announced officially on that front yet.
As we mentioned above, Disney+ is far cheaper than Netflix, and also costs even less than Stan's basic package. Foxtel airs a much broader content that includes sports and news, but also costs significantly more, especially if you bundle in all the available options.
Disney+ will have all titles available for download, unlike Netflix and Stan where some titles (especially non-originals) aren't available as downloads. There's also no limit on how many downloads you can have, other than the storage capacity of your device.
The interfaces for the trio are similar, but Disney may have an advantage due to its simplicity. As Disney+ will launch with less titles than Netflix and Stan it's easier to navigate.
Inevitably, the battle of Disney+ vs Netflix seems destined to be a worldwide heavyweight streaming war. Disney also has the benefit of owning the rights to their own content, which has spelt disaster for Foxtel and Stan.
It seems like everyone is launching a streaming platform these days, so why is Disney so special? First off, this new platform will become the exclusive home for subscription-video-on-demand viewing of the newest live action and animated movies from Disney and Pixar from 2019 onwards.
That includes highly anticipated upcoming titles like Toy Story 4, Frozen 2 and the recent live-action Lion King movie. Moreover, the service will feature a vast collection of library content, including Disney and Pixar movies and Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD television programming.
But more importantly, Disney's streaming service will also host content from Disney's subsidiaries Marvel, Lucasfilm and National Geographic. This means that the platform will also host all the Marvel and Stars Wars movies released so far, with upcoming releases exclusive to the platform such as Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Obi-Wan Kenobi and a Loki miniseries.
These are some of the biggest film franchises in the world, so it's obvious that the Force will be strong with this new streaming service, especially given that geekdom is responsible for a ridiculous amount of box office income. Disney has even gone on the record to say that those upcoming titles will even contribute to the future stories of the franchises in cinemas.
Additionally, Disney's recent purchase of 21st Century Fox means Disney will take control of the popular US streaming service Hulu. In a November 2018 earnings call, Disney Chairman Bob Iger outlined the company's plans to expand Hulu's availability to more countries once the purchase of Fox is finalised.
With competition within the streaming market getting fiercer, content will be the major differentiator for users looking to shell out some cash for entertainment purposes. And thanks to its family friendly movies and TV shows, Disney's platform will look appealing to all sorts of consumers, from Marvel fans to classic Disney enthusiasts.
The entire content library is able to be downloaded for offline viewing too. Its biggest calling card is that it its content will never disappear as they own it all.
After originally launching without a resume or continue watching option, Disney has finally corrected the fault adding three new features. There's also your standard features such as Kids Mode and multiple profiles.
Possibly the most interesting aspect is the ability to request shows and movies yourself to be added to the library.
It seems as Disney will follow the trend of other streaming services in releasing a monthly upcoming schedule. December will see a host of new titles introduced. While it mainly consists of weekly episodes of existing series, a big inclusion is some of the X-Men archives.
This was originally one of the most obvious omissions from the Australian launch.
So far in Australia, Disney+ has gone off without a hitch. Its price is phenomenal when compared to competitors. What it's lacking in content to begin with it's making up for in quality, with new production The Mandalorian outranking Netflix's Stranger Things already.
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