Disney Teases Upcoming Streaming Service, Set For 'Late 2019'

It's more than a year away from launch, but Disney spent much of its latest quarterly earnings call teasing its upcoming streaming video service.

The Disney-branded service (final name yet to be determined) will launch in “late 2019” and will be the “biggest priority of the company” next year, according to Disney CEO Bob Iger on the call Tuesday evening. 

Disney is planning an investor presentation dedicated to previewing the platform at some point in the “near future,” Iger added.

The service will feature original movies and TV shows, with an emphasis on core Disney brands like Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars and classic Disney characters.

Iger noted that the iconic nature of Disney’s intellectual property will itself be a differentiator of the service.



“We've mentioned a number of times that we have the luxury of programming this product with programs from those brands or derived from those brands, which obviously creates a demand and gives us the ability to not necessarily be in the volume game, but to be in the quality game,” he said.

“And that's not in any way suggesting that Netflix isn't in the quality game. There's a lot of quality there, but they're also in the high volume game.”

Disney's iconic content is also the reason why the company is taking its time to develop the product.

“We don't see the need to rush because the market will pass us by, simply because the only place people are going to be able to get Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars original product is going to be on this app,” Iger said. “And so, we believe whenever we launch, it will be attractive.”

Iger was not specific about fees for the service, only reiterating that the price will be competitive, and reflect the lower volume of content as compared to Netflix, even if the average quality is higher.

“We want to make sure we're managing expectations. The price of the service will reflect that,” he said.

Disney is also hoping that its traditional pay-TV partners offer to distribute the service through their platforms, much the same way they do for Netflix.

Disney also discussed ESPN+, the company’s first direct-to-consumer streaming offering, which launched last quarter. Iger said the company exceeded its expectations, though he added that “we had relatively modest expectations.”

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