Disney+ is set to launch on November 12th, and it’s going to be a very big deal. The new streaming service will be filled with exclusive Disney content, and its $6.99 price tag makes it an attractive alternative to Netflix.
Of course, there’s more to it than just that. Disney+ is arriving at a time when there doesn’t seem to be enough room for another streaming service. So how is it going to innovate? What kind of original content can we expect to see on Disney+, and is there anything unsavory about the service that we haven’t heard about yet?
Disney+ Has a Slim, Exclusive Library
The Disney+ library will be filled with somewhere between 400-500 movies and about 7,000 TV episodes. Compared to Netflix’s library of 1,500+ TV shows and 4,000+ films, that’s not a lot. But Disney+ makes up for its slim library by offering a metric ton of exclusive content.
You can expect most of that content to be from Disney’s back catalog (and from the catalog of its other properties, like Pixar, FX, Marvel, and Lucasfilms). With Disney+, you’ll have access to all of Disney’s animated classics (even if they’re in the “vault“), all of the Pixar films, all of the Star Wars films, most of the Marvel films, The Simpsons, and various other programs.
But there will also be a handful of made-for-Disney+ shows and movies. Get ready for a Star Wars: The Clone Wars reboot, two live-action Star Wars shows, and a few Marvel shows (Falcon and Winter Soldier, WandaVision, Loki, Hawkeye). You can view the full list of Disney+ originals on Wikipedia.
Wait a minute, Disney owns FX and (most of ) Hulu, will those companies’ exclusive shows end up on Disney+? The answer is no, mostly because Disney wants its new streaming platform to be family-friendly. Rumor has it that most of FX’s programming will end up on Hulu and that Hulu will be Disney’s destination for its “adult” properties.
It’s Cheap, Real Cheap
Remember how Netflix used to be super cheap? Well, those days are long gone, but Disney+ will surely take Netflix’s place as the cheapest way to mindlessly stare at your TV.
As a stand-alone service, Disney+ will cost just $6.99 a month. You can even subscribe to Disney+ through your Hulu account (as an add-on) for the same $6.99 price, assuming you want to keep all your shows and movies in one place. (This option may be exclusive to Hulu + Live TV subscribers—Disney hasn’t clarified yet).
But you can also pay for Disney+ as a bundle with ESPN+ and Hulu. This bundle costs a mere $12.99 a month, which happens to be the same price as the Standard Netflix streaming plan. Before you get too excited, we’re talking about the version of Hulu that includes ads. And at this time, Disney hasn’t announced a package with ad-free Hulu, either. Yeah, bummer.
No, Disney+ Wont Have Ads
Advertisements suck, and their inclusion in streaming services takes away from what makes streaming so great. Thankfully, you won’t find any ads on Disney+.
Of course, Disney is the majority owner of Hulu, and Hulu has a very profitable ad-supported streaming plan. Why won’t there be ads on Disney+? Well, Disney CEO Bob Iger recently went out of his way to clarify that Disney+ won’t have ads because it’s “the most important product” that Disney has launched in years. Apparently, Hulu isn’t as important as Disney+. But to be fair, Disney didn’t launch Hulu—it bought majority control of it.
Most Devices Will Work With Disney+
Disney is smart. The company knows that its dedicated streaming service appeals to both kids and adults, and it’s capitalizing on that appeal by sticking Disney+ on pretty much every device you can think of.
On launch day, you can watch Disney+ plus on Android devices, iOS Devices, the Nintendo Switch, the PS4, the Xbox One, most smart TVs (not Samsung TVs, though), Apple TVs, Chromecasts, Rokus, and even NVIDIA Shield TVs.
It seems that the only notable platform that Disney is skipping is Amazon Fire, possibly because Amazon already sells digital versions of Disney’s films on Amazon Video.
Say Goodbye to Password Sharing (Maybe)
According to a Spectrum press release, Disney and Spectrum are working together to mitigate piracy on the Disney+ streaming service. This makes sense, as Disney has a long history of aggressively defending its intellectual property, and the company even has a “report piracy” page on its website (so you can report your roommate to Disney for pirating Dumbo, or whatever).
But Spectrum and Disney have a trick up their sleeve. Their anti-piracy methods will address “issues such as unauthorized access and password sharing.”
Competing streaming services like Hulu and Netflix have always allowed password sharing, so it’s unclear how Disney and Spectrum plan to approach this “issue.” This press release may be merely referring to simultaneous-streaming restrictions (only two phones can watch at a time, etc.), but it’s also possible that the companies want to eliminate account sharing. We’ll find out in a few months.