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Everything We Know About The Disney+ Streaming Service

November 9, 2018 9:15 am
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Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS)'s Q4 earnings provided clarity about the new streaming service, Disney+, set to rival Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) late next year.

What It Will Look Like

Disney+ will aggregate the company’s existing content — including the Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar and National Geographic franchises — and strengthen the competitive library with originals.

“As with ESPN Plus, the launch of Disney Plus will just be the starting point,” CEO Bob Iger said on the earnings call. “We plan to continually elevate the experience and enhance the value to consumers with a constant pipeline of exclusive new content as we move forward.”

Segmented into its five core brands, Disney+ will feature theatrical releases, classics and original content. The current docket includes a new series on Marvel’s Loki; a prequel series to Star Wars’ “Rogue One” about Cassian Andor; a “Monsters Inc.” series; a live-action “Lady and the Tramp”; and exclusive films starring Anna Kendrick and Willem DaFoe. Disney will also reboot the “High School Musical” brand and roll out another season of “Star Wars: Clone Wars.”

What It Means For Rivals

The platform is bad news for Netflix, which will lose all Disney titles in 2019.

“I believe they will soon be the king of streaming media services,” Tigress Financial Partners analyst Ivan Feinseth said on CNBC. “I believe at some point they will out-Netflix Netflix.”

Netflix traded down 1.3 percent Friday morning, although management expressed no fear about competitive prospects.

"We've been competing with Amazon for more than 10 years, so we're used to healthy, strong competition," CEO Reed Hastings told the BBC. "It makes us better."

Hastings nonetheless conceded Disney will be “formidable” — a “great competitor” with its strong content.

What It Means For Disney

The direct-to-consumer distribution platform will supplement Disney’s ESPN+ streamer and Hulu, as well as its many cable channels, such as ABC, ESPN, Lifetime and Free Form. An April investor conference will provide more information about the DTC strategy.

Disney+ is also seen to be a significant asset in the brand ecosystem.

“Content creates theme park attractions, it creates licensing revenue, and also their ability to market their new streaming service will be very powerful,” Feinseth said. “They could put coupons for a free month introductions on their products that they sell at Disney stores and Disney parks. Disney touches a lot of people, so they have the potential I believe to get a significant customer base to their streaming service very quickly.”

Related Links:

This Day In Market History: Disney Buys Star Wars, Indiana Jones Franchises

Barclays Upgrades Disney On Streaming Service Optimism

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