Disney+ will be launching its streaming service in America on November 12, 2019.
The launch will cost $6.99 per month, the company announced — nearly half Netflix’s standard $12.99 plan.
The subscription VOD service represents Disney’s biggest and most aggressive move into the video-streaming wars. By pricing it well below Netflix, the Mouse House is betting it can rapidly drive up Disney+ customer base with a mélange of content that appeals to multiple demographics, including movies and TV shows from its Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar and Disney brands.
The company announced the pricing, launch date, and other details Thursday at Disney’s 2019 Investor Day in Burbank, Calif. Asked by an analyst about why it set the $6.99 price point, Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger said, “This is our first serious foray in this space, and we want to reach as many people as possible with it.”
Disney+ in the U.S. also will be available for an optional annual plan for $69.99 per year (which works out to $5.83 monthly).
In 2018, Disney movies grosses more that $47 billion, selling 900 million tickets globally, and “we believe that demand will translate to Disney+,” said Kevin Mayer, chairman of Disney’s Direct-to-Consumer and International business segment.
“We’re confident consumers are going to love the service.”
At launch, Disney+ will include 7,500 episodes of current and off-air TV shows; 25 original series and 10 original movies and specials; 400 library movie titles; and 100 recent theatrical films release, according to Agnes Chu, senior VP of content, Disney+.
That includes exclusive rights to all 30 seasons of ‘The Simpsons’, which Disney obtained through the acquisition of 21st Century Fox. In year five of Disney+, the company expects to have an annual production slate of some 50 originals, Chu said.
Disney CFO Christine McCarthy said it expects 60 million to 90 million subscribers for Disney+ around the world by end of fiscal 2024 (two-thirds outside the U.S.). Disney+’s peak operating losses are expected be between fiscal years 2020-22 and is targeted to achieve profitability in fiscal 2024, McCarthy said.