Disney unveils Disney+, its new streaming service
Marvel is a $18.5 billion film franchise and now it'll have original shows on Disney+. A lot of original shows.
Here's the lineup, announced on stage by Marvel Studios president, Kevin Feige:
- "Wanda Vision" -- This series will star Vision and Scarlet Witch (even though both were killed by Thanos in "Infinity War"). Feige didn't explain what the show was about, but showed concept art of Vision and Scarlett dressed in black and white like the family from "Leave it to Beaver."
- "Falcon & Winter Solider" -- This will showcase two heroes who started as enemies and became friends (again, both were killed by Thanos). Feige said the series will be a "deeper dive" where fans will learn about these heroes.
- "Loki" -- This series will star Tom Hiddleston as Thor's brother, Loki. Feige didn't say much about it other than it'll have Loki's trademark mischief (Loki was also killed by Thanos).
- "What If..." -- This was Marvel's most interesting show announcement: "What If..." will be an animated series that will wonder what life would've been like if things went a different way. For instance, Feige said that he first episode the show will ask what would have happened if Steve Rogers never became Captain America.
If you want to take part in Woody and Buzz's adventures, Disney+ has you covered.
Pete Docter, the chief creative officer at Pixar, told investors that 18 Pixar films will available on the service when it launches. Its shorts like the Academy Award winning "Bao" will be there too.
Another short about two "Toy Story" characters, "Forky Asks A Question" and "Lamp Life," will be available for fans to watch when the service launches.
"We are not slowing down," Docter said. "We are thrilled to show you more on the big screen and Disney+."
Disney was built on animation and so is Disney+.
For years, Disney has famously kept many of its animated hits in its "Disney vault," but now they'll have a home on Disney+.
Jennifer Lee, chief creative officer of Walt Disney Animation, announced that the studio's "13 film signature collection," which includes classics like "Bambi," "The Jungle Book," "Snow White and Seven Dwarfs" and "Aladdin," will be available on Disney+ on day one.
It will also be the exclusive home of "Frozen II" next summer.
Finally, we got what came for: a demo of Disney+.
But suffice to say that the interface looks a lot like the interface for Apple TV or Netflix (think of a grid of brands and content). At the top is the "hero carousel" that will have Disney+ originals, films and series.
"Brand areas," aka little boxes that say Pixar or Marvel on them, populate the Disney homepage. When you hover over, say, the Disney box, fireworks go off behind the iconic Disney (DIS) castle.
When you click on a title, such as "Captain Marvel," which will be available at launch, it takes you to a title page that offers the film in high def, including 4K.
The Disney+ homepage is for navigation, of course, but it's about showing consumers everything it owns, and reminding them that Disney is the only place to get it all.
It's no shock that Disney (DIS) has been big at the box office, but here's how big Disney is at the box office.
It has released 44 films since 2006 and those films have grossed $37 billion. That's an average of $850 million per movie across its many brands, such as Marvel and "Star Wars."
All of them will be released on Disney+ starting with "Captain Marvel."
We're currently in a break at Disney's Investor Day event, but that doesn't mean that Disney (DIS) isn't being Disney in the meantime.
During the 15 minute break, the company has been playing classical piano versions of its classic hit songs such as "Gaston" from "Beauty and the Beast," songs from "Mary Poppins" and "Under the Sea" from "The Little Mermaid."
Now I'm going to have all those songs stuck in my head all day.
When Disney (DIS) acquired Fox's assets last month it also gained control of Hotstar, an Indian streaming service.
That's a big deal, because Hotstar has 300 million active users per month. To put that numbers in context, Netflix has roughly 150 million global users.
"India has emerged as a thriving market," said Uday Shankar, president of Disney's Asia Pacific unit. He added that it's become "a magnet" for content companies.
Its tagline? "Inspire a billion imaginations."
ESPN+ is now a "foundational pillar of our brand," according to Jimmy Pitaro, ESPN's president.
Pitaro told investors that the sports cable network will air "over 24,000 live events this year" and that ESPN+ helps connects its viewers across TV and digital. He said that on both platforms combined, ESPN brings in 200 million viewers a month.
Rusell Wolff, the executive VP and GM of ESPN+, said that there are 10,000 live events and originals on the streaming service, which has added more than two million subscribers in less than a year.
"Where does this all lead us?" Wolff asked. "The future."
Disney's streaming brand is bigger than just its new service, Disney+. It's also Hulu and ESPN+, and soon consumers may be able to get all of them for one price.
Kevin Mayer, chairman of Disney's Direct-to-consumer unit, told investors that it was "likely" that Disney (DIS) will bundle its streaming services. He also said that it'd be for a "discounted price." So think cable, but smaller and on multiple platforms and all under Disney's (DIS) corporate umbrella.
Mayer also noted that Disney+ would be ad-free, so no commercials.