Disney wants to undercut Netflix's price ahead of 2019's streaming war

Bill Rogers
November 11, 2017

The streaming service will be the exclusive home for subscription VOD viewing of live action and animated films from Disney, Pixar, Lucasfilm and Marvel.

The entertainment giant announced in August that it would remove all of its films and television programmes from Netflix in preparation for launching its own on-demand platform.

Robert Iger, chief executive of Walt Disney Co, also revealed details of the first shows that will be released. Disney says its service will include 500 plans from its popular library - including Star Wars and Marvel movies - and about 7,000 episodes of Disney TV.

Disney plans an aggressive marketing campaign for the channel by pushing the service to its Disney-branded credit card holders, annual Disney park pass holders, members of D23, owners of Disney vacation club units and frequent visitors to the six Disney parks.

"As I've said earlier, we're going launch this thing pretty aggressively", he said on the call Thursday.

It's also working on a new "Star Wars" film trilogy.

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News emerged this week that Disney had held talks about buying the entertainment wing of United States media rival 21 Century Fox.

As reported by The Wrap, Iger explained that the price of the service will be connected to the amount of content that it will carry.

Disney rose 2.9% to 105.64 in afternoon trading in the stock market today. "Our goal is to attract as many subs as possible starting out, ' he said, reflecting his desire to build up a massive audience".

A similar ESPN streaming product will launch spring 2018, Iger said, fueled by Disney's $3.75 billion acquisition of the BAMtech digital platform from Major League Baseball. Netflix fell 1.3% to 191.40 intraday after falling as low as 189.50, briefly undercutting a 190.05 buy point.

Netflix now offers three different subscription tiers to USA subscribers: a basic plan for $7.99 a month, a premium plan at $10.99, and an ultra premium plan for $13.99. The streaming internet giant broke out of a cup-with-handle base on October 5, with the catalyst being its plan to hike subscription rates. Rian Johnson, the writer-director of this December's "The Last Jedi", is developing "a brand new Star Wars trilogy" for Disney, the CEO said.

Plus, a new streaming service from the U.S. sport broadcasting giant, will launch next spring.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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