Disney Plus There’s another streaming service on its way

What is It?
Disney Plus, or Disney+ as it is styled (preview.disneyplus.com/uk), is a new TV and film streaming service launched by the ‘House of Mouse’. It is set to be a major rival to Netflix, providing an exclusive mix of new and classic movies and shows from the many Disney-owned entertainment studios, which include Marvel, Fox, Pixar, and LucasFilm.

So another subscription to pay?
Afraid so. If you’re a fan of Disney’s movies and television shows, then you’re going to have little choice but to fork out. The company has been pulling its content from rival streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video to ensure Disney Plus becomes the only place you can see them. The Marvel Originals shows for Netflix have already been canned, for instance, and Disney hasn’t allowed its rivals to show last year’s film releases.

What are the main attractions?
The service has more than 620 series including, in the US, all 30 seasons of The Simpsons, which Disney acquired when it snapped up Fox. Disney Plus is also the new home of Star Wars, with the franchise’s first-ever live-action series, The Mandalorian, already proving a primary attraction (bit.ly/ mand490). Other launch shows include High School Musical: The Musical and Gravity Falls. There’s also a six-episode documentary series about Disney theme parks called The Imagineering Story.

Are there some great films, too?
Yes, indeed. Disney Plus has about 500 films, including Avatar (which is making its streaming debut), The Lion King, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, The Muppet Christmas Carol and most of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films. All the Pixar movies and short films are on there, as is a new live-action Lady And The Tramp. The first six Star Wars movies are available too, along with The Force Awakens. It is the first time the original trilogy has been made available in 4K HDR. If you’re more a fan of the classic Disney era, you can revisit all your favorites, including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Bambi, Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book and many more. See the full list at bit.ly/disneylist490.

Sounds great. How do I sign up?
Sadly, you’ll have to wait. Although the service has launched in the US, Canada, Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand (and attracted 10 million subscribers already), it’s not going to hit the UK until 31 March. This is probably because of the current deals Disney has with UK services. Sky, for instance, has a contract with Disney for its films and television shows, and there is even a dedicated Sky Cinema Disney channel. This is likely to be scrapped when the contract runs out in 2020. Sky also has a deal for Fox movies and, again, this will be coming to an end. If you need a Disney fix now, you can check out DisneyLife (disneylife.com/uk) for £4.99 per month, which has more than 450 movies and 5,000 box set episodes.

What next for Netflix and Amazon Prime Video?
These streaming services are likely to rely more and more on original series. Netflix, for instance, is losing Friends to the new WarnerMedia streaming service HBO Max but homegrown series such as Stranger Things remain hugely popular. Licensed content makes up two-thirds of Netflix’s offering, however, which will be of concern. Amazon Prime Video, meanwhile, is hoping for big returns on a new $250m Lord of the Rings series and a Premier League deal that will see 20 football matches being broadcast live this month.

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Disney Plus There’s another streaming service on its way Disney Plus There’s another streaming service on its way Reviewed by Hindian Hacking on March 19, 2020 Rating: 5

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