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Disney+ to go live in US market with 25+original series from November 12

Following its US debut, Disney+ will rapidly expand globally, with plans to be in nearly all major regions in the next two years. The platform will be ad-free, making its money from subscriptions

After officially purchasing 21st Century Fox for $71.3 billion, Walt Disney had announced its plans to enter the OTT market with Disney+. The network has now announced November 12, 2019, as the launch date for Disney+ in the US Market.

Being the last entrant in an overly competitive market, Disney+ will follow the strategy of its competitors Netflix and Amazon. The platform will be ad-free, making its money from subscriptions. Giving competition to Netflix, Disney+ has kept the subscription cost at $6.99 a month compared to Netflix's standard plan at $12.99 per month.

Following its US debut, Disney+ will expand globally, with plans to be in nearly all major regions of the world within the next two years.

At a presentation to Wall Street analysts in its Burbank, California office, on April 11, Bob Iger, Chief Executive Disney, said they are putting forward an aggressive strategy. The company has set a target of attracting 60 million to 90 million subscribers and achieving profitability in the fiscal year 2024. It is said to invest a little over $1 billion in cash to finance original programming in fiscal 2020 and about $2 billion by 2024. 

“Disney+ marks a bold step forward in an exciting new era for our company — one in which consumers will have a direct connection to the incredible array of creative content that is The Walt Disney Company’s hallmark. We are confident that the combination of our unrivalled storytelling, beloved brands, iconic franchises, and cutting-edge technology will make Disney+ a standout in the marketplace, and deliver significant value for consumers and shareholders alike,” Iger said.

The streaming platform will launch with more than 25 original series, 10 original films, documentaries and specials curated and created by some of the popular names in the industry. Seeing the increasing popularity of Marvel studios, the platform has announced at least five original series around Marvel characters in its first year. The shows based on Tom Hiddleston’s Loki and Jeremy Renner starrer Hawkeye is still under development; a live-action series called The Falcon and The Winter Soldier featuring Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan and WandaVision, starring Elisabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, will start streaming within days of the platform’s launch. Marvel will also be hosting its first ever animated series on Disney + called Marvel’s What If…?

From Walt Disney Animation Studios, a documentary called Into the Unknown: Making Frozen 2 will be featured on the digital platform and from Pixar bank, a short film called Lamp Life and a limited series Forky Asks a Question will also be available for streaming. The library will also include all the latest Marvel movies and popular Disney shows like That’s So Raven and Lizzie McGuire.

Through the Century Fox purchase, Disney has also acquired controlling stakes in digital platforms such as ESPN+, Hulu and Hotstar. The executives said in a statement that they are planning to expand Hulu and ESPN+ subscriber base.

Through this acquisition, Disney will be able to strengthen its digital library with the entirety of the animation studio’s 13-film Signature collection, and the first two Star Wars trilogies and Captain Marvel among others. Additionally, Disney+ will feature all 30 seasons of The Simpsons from day one. In the service’s first year, audiences will also have access to Fox titles like The Sound of Music, The Princess Bride and Malcolm in the Middle as part of an impressive collection of more than 7,500 television episodes and 500 films, including blockbuster hits from 2019 and beyond.

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