Upcoming Disney+: Everything We Know So Far About Disney’s Streaming Service: Pricing, Content, etc...

Apollon

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When will Disney+ launch?

Disney+ will be available in the United States from November 12, 2019.

Over the next two years, Disney plans to implement an international rollout of the service, launching the platform in each major region of the world.

Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International Division President Kevin Mayer previously confirmed in an interview with French magazine Capital that the platform would be available “a little later in Europe.” It is possible that some local content may need to be added to the mix to comply with European Union rules, though this has not been confirmed at this time.

How much will Disney+ cost?

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The service will cost $6.99 a month or $69.99 a year.

Disney’s lower price tag (compared to Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix) will reportedly reflect the lighter content load on the platform, as the volume of movies and TV shows will be slightly more limited to begin with, but they will continue adding to the roster as time goes on.

How will Disney+ work?

Subscribers will have the ability to access the service across a range of different devices with streaming available through Smart TVs, web browsers, mobile devices, and gaming consoles, with the capacity to adjust to the best possible high-definition viewing experience, supporting up to 4K HDR video playback.

Another very exciting feature is that the entire Disney+ library will reportedly be free to download on to subscribers devices, without restrictions or limitations, so all content from the service can be accessed and viewed while not connected to the internet.

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At this stage, it is believed that Disney+ will take a more traditional approach with their programming compared to other subscription platforms. Instead of releasing everything on the platform at once, Disney will wait until their usual slate of movies have debuted in theaters and left the physical media sales window before adding them to the service.

Disney also plans to keep their space family-friendly by diverting R-rated content to a separate library on Hulu.

What will Disney+ look like?

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At the Disney Investor Day event on April 11, the company shared a first look at the interface of its new ad-free service.

The homepage features a carousel showcasing Disney+ originals, movies and television series alongside branded boxes that are populated with various franchises, including Disney’s own movies and TV shows, Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, and National Geographic.

The company has reimagined the current streaming service model into a grid that is straightforward to navigate and operate with separate content hubs on the service that will be customized with a bespoke look and distinctive features to create unique user experiences in alignment with each universe. Users will also be able to design their own profile and build a custom avatar with their favorite characters from the Disney library.

“There’ll be an elegance to it, and an ease of use,” Bob Iger told Vulture when Disney+ was originally announced, suggesting that the company would try to streamline the experience to avoid repeating some of the user issues that have apparently been present on competitors platforms at one time or another.

What can you watch on Disney+?

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The premium streaming service will have a variety of original programming as a further expansion of some of their existing popular franchises. This collection of exclusive content includes, but is not limited to, The Mandalorian, a live-action Star Wars series directed by Jon Favreau, and a second original Star Wars series focused on Rogue One’s Cassian Andor, as well as a Marvel spin-off show centered on fan-favorite character Loki, starring Tom Hiddleston. Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany will star as Wanda Maximoff and The Vision in WandaVision, a new series that will reportedly begin filming this fall. Elsewhere, Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan are teaming up for Falcon and Winter Soldier, another Marvel series that is expected to premiere within the first year.

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As for the movies, there are a number of notable projects currently in the works, including live-action remakes of the animated classics The Lady and The Tramp, Peter Pan, and The Sword in the Stone, along with rumored reboots of live-action comedies, such as Three Men and a Baby, Father of the Bride, Honey I Shrunk The Kids, and The Parent Trap.

Interestingly, there have also been a considerable amount of book-to-movie adaptations confirmed, with Don Quixote based on the 1605 novel by Miguel de Cervantes making the list, together with Timmy Failure, The Paper Magician, Stargirl, and Flora and Ulysses. Family comedy Magic Camp, directed by Mark Waters and written by Dan Gregor and Doug Mand, from a story by Steve Martin, has reportedly completed production, so might be amongst the first to drop on the service.

However, since the majority of these releases will be staggered on the service, Disney+ will launch with an incredible amount of content from their back catalogue to accommodate fans of all ages, with everything from Disney’s beloved animated classics to their live-action movies, as well as a number of entries from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the ever-expanding Star Wars galaxy.

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Last month, Disney closed the deal with 21st Century Fox for $71 billion, which means that a selection of Fox content will also be available on the platform, including all 30 seasons of The Simpsons, TV’s longest-running primetime scripted series.

Other exclusive content includes a brand new documentary titled Into the Unknown: Making Frozen II, which will take audiences behind-the-scenes of the highly anticipated sequel to 2013’s Frozen, due in theaters on November 22.

On the animation front, all Pixar movies and their associated theatrical shorts will be loaded on to Disney+ within the first year of launch. There will also be a chance to get to know Toy Story’s newest star in Forky Asks A Question, a series of Pixar shorts, available on day one. Disney will debut another short film centered on Bo Peep, titled Lamp Life, but not immediately at launch.

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For a complete change of scene, subscribers will be given the opportunity to explore the wonders of the world with more than 250 hours of content from National Geographic, including Academy Award winner Free Solo and a new docuseries called The World According to Jeff Goldblum, premiering at launch.

In total, in year one, subscribers will be able to rediscover more than 7,500 episodes of Disney TV fare and 500 movies from the Disney library on the streaming service, which CEO Bob Iger described at the presentation as a “bold step forward in an exciting new era” for the company.

**OP will be updated as more info surface**
 

Apollon

#TheLaw
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Disney's The Launchpad program calls for diverse filmmakers to pitch short films for Disney+

Ahead of the launch of Disney+ later this year, Disney announced a new initiative on Monday calling for filmmakers from underrepresented backgrounds to bring their pitches for short films that could end up on the new streaming platform.

Called Disney Launchpad, up to six filmmakers will be selected to make their short film for Disney+ over a 7-month program that will see the filmmakers work closely with Disney mentors to script, develop and make an original piece of content.

“We get to see directors’ work, work with a director who has probably not gotten into the studio system, have new voices in our ecosystem and quite frankly, get an amazing piece of content out of the process as well,” said Julie Ann Crommett, vice president of multicultural engagement at Walt Disney Studios.

The program, which launches on Monday, will take short film pitches until 12pm PT on July 2nd, after which it will select the shortlist of filmmakers that will go on to make their films. Crommett said the goal of the program was to find directors of diverse backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in the film industry, and help them get a foot in the door into the film studio system. She described a director’s journey in three specific stages, using Ryan Coogler as an example – Phase 1 being “that short film or initial project that allows for a director’s voice to break through and becomes the calling card for a step into the studio system,” often from an independent project such as Coogler’s Sundance hit Fruitvale; Phase 2 is the “low to mid-budget film moment in a director’s career,” such as Coogler’s Creed; Phase 3 is “where a director is directing one of our tentpole films with a large-scale budget,” specifically Coogler’s Black Panther.

Disney has faced criticism in the past for not having a more diverse roster of filmmakers making their big-budget fare, and in recent years has been working to bring filmmakers of underrepresented backgrounds, such as Coogler for his Oscar-winning Black Panther, Ava DuVernay for A Wrinkle in Time, Chloe Zhao for The Eternals and Mulan, directed by Niki Caro. The Launchpad program is looking for original ideas, not adaptations or biopics or stories based on existing Disney IP, and Crommett hopes it leads to “stories of all different experiences and ideas and even genres” that fit within the larger Disney brand. After making their short film for Disney+, filmmakers will have the opportunity to possibly expand their shorts into larger features or pitch new story ideas. “Our goal is that this incubator is not one and done, the filmmaker is able to make the short film with us and then progress to the next stage of their career within the larger Walt Disney ecosystem,” Crommett said.

Launchpad is hoping to find filmmakers in that Phase 1 stage and bring them into the Disney family, and the program is open to filmmakers who have made at least one piece of scripted, live-action narrative work at least 5 minutes long in the past 8 years. “What we know is that there is this grey area between having graduated maybe from a film program, having gotten commercial work but haven’t been able to break into the studio system as such, and this program is really defined for people who fit in that area,” Crommett said. Once selected, the program will provide filmmakers with a stipend if they need to move to LA, and will allow filmmakers to hold their other jobs except for the days they need to be in production on their short. “The barrier entry in this industry is real from a financial standpoint,” Crommett said. “[Filmmakers] are free to hold down another job as part of their daily life and we anticipate several will, the program is designed as such to make it possible.”

Launchpad is the latest shorts program to be launched at Disney, following Pixar’s SparkShorts initiative that is geared towards cultivating voices from the company’s own artists and directors.

via EW
 

Apollon

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Disney+ Teases Content Collaboration with Hulu, Streaming Execs Talk Defining the Brand

It was probably a coincidence that Agnes Chu, SVP, content, for Disney+, was seated next to Craig Erwich, SVP content for Hulu, at today’s panel titled “The Streamers: Meet the Buyers” at today’s Produced By Conference 2019 at Warner Bros. in Burbank.

Or maybe it was just alphabetical on a panel that continued down the line with Vernon Sanders, co-head of television for Amazon Studios, and Michael Wright, president of EPIX.

Still, the connection between the two was front and center at the panel moderated by Chris Thomes, VP of marketing strategy for ABC Studios, which brought together voices from established television platforms and newer digital players.

In fact, it was not Thomes, but panelist Sanders who brought up the obvious. Sanders asked: Since Disney now effectively controls Hulu as well as Disney+, the Disney streaming service planned to launch in November, will the two share notes on content and new projects?

“We just had this conversation right before we came on stage,” said Chu. “We have a great deal with a documentary team, Supper Club…making exclusive content for Disney+. But part of the conversation with them is, if they have a great series that would be a better fit for Hulu, we would love to introduce them.”

Added Chu: “(We are) just getting started. We are getting to a place where we can have a very fluid conversation across our platforms.”

“I agree,” said Erwich, his only comment on that question.

Otherwise, the panel was dominated by discussion of how each platform represented on the panel plans to continue differentiating themselves in the crowded TV landscape.

Even though Disney+ has yet to launch, Chu described the streaming service as a “Disney branded entertainment service,” relying on content from its brands and the current creators of those brands. “People know what our brands stand for,” she said.

She mentioned in particular producer Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, who is also the creative force behind several Marvel Disney series in development for Disney+. She added, however, that these existing creative teams will bring new talent into the Disney+ fold.

Chu also mentioned the previously announced series executive produced by Gina Rodriguez, Diary of a Female President, about a 12-year-old girl who aspires to be president of the United States.

Erwich said Hulu is always looking for not just the show that a friend will tell you about, but “ the show a stranger will tell you about.” He added that Hulu is also focused on streamlining the viewer experience to make content easy to locate and search “in as easy and quick a way as possible.”

Amazon Studios’ Sanders reassured the audience that Amazon content remains separate from Amazon’s identity as a shopping behemoth. With a laugh, he warned eager producers attending today’s conference not to pitch him shows with a shopping component. He said that Amazon chief Jennifer Salke sees the studio as a “destination home for talent. In the beginning (as an online bookseller) the company started with being a home for storytelling. We very much want to be a home for storytelling,” he said.

Wright said that as EPIX expands to new platforms it will maintain its identity as “TV for movie lovers.” EPIX fans, he said, find that studios are not making the kind of adult-themed narratives and complex stories EPIX fans crave. He said the approach is not to shoot for programming to attract all potential audiences but to be “as noisy as we can be to specific constituents.”

via Deadline
 

kaw

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Disney+ will be available on the following devices at launch this fall:
  • Apple TV (tvOS)
  • Android mobile devices
  • Android TV
  • Chromecast
  • Desktop web browsers
  • iPad (iPadOS)
  • iPhone (iOS)
  • PlayStation 4
  • Roku streaming players
  • Roku TV
  • Xbox One
Disney+ will be available in Canada and the Netherlands at the same time it debuts in the US on November 12.
But it won’t reach Australia and New Zealand until a week later on November 19. Here’s how the price points breakdown for each of those territories:
  • Canada – C$8.99 per month, or C$89.99 per year
  • Holland – €6.99 per month of €69.99 per year
  • Australia – A$8.99 per month or A$89.99 per year
  • New Zealand – NZ$9.99 per month or NZ$99.99 per year