Walt Disney Company is launching two new streaming services: ESPN Plus and a Disney-branded service
Walt Disney Company has a desire to be a “viable player” in the direct-to-consumer space. As a result, the company is launching two streaming services: ESPN Plus and a Disney-branded service. Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed the big news during the company’s third quarter earnings call on Thursday (November 9th).
ESPN Plus is scheduled to launch in the spring of 2018. It will live inside ESPN’s redesigned app and offer sports scores and highlights. In addition, subscribers will have the ability to stream channels and watch live events for a fee. Iger said the company will demo the service at the beginning of the new year before rolling it out officially. As for pricing, he didn’t reveal subscription fees but said that since the service will have less volume than Netflix and Hulu “the pricing will reflect that.”
The Disney-branded service is scheduled to launch later in 2019. The as-yet-unnamed service will be a competitor of Netflix, who Disney previously had a licensing deal with. It will be the exclusive home to new animated and live-action theatrical Disney and Pixar films. It will also include the company’s library of previously released Disney and Pixar movies and television programming from Disney Channel, Disney Junior, and Disney XD. The pricing of the service will be will be “substantially below where Netflix is” due to the service having a smaller library initially. However, as it adds more content and expands its library, prices will be increase.
In other streaming news, YouTube TV recently expanded its service to TV devices.