Disney unveils Disney+, its new streaming service
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.
Content is king, after all.
That's how Kevin Mayer, chairman of Disney's Direct-to-consumer unit, explained how Disney (DIS) would stand out in the world of streaming.
Mayer first showed how popular streaming has become and how much it has grown in recent years. He did mention that it's a "growing" but "crowded" marketplace.
So Disney is hoping to stand out using its brands like ESPN, ABC, Pixar and Marvel help it stand out in its "evergreen library." And now it has Fox.
"The acquisition of Fox will further strengthen our hand," Mayer said.
Bob Iger is ready for the future.
The Disney (DIS) CEO walked on stage to the company's trademark song, "When You Wish Upon A Star," to talk about how the company will enter its second century.
"Create great content and distribute in innovative ways," he said. "It's that simple."
Iger said that it's an "it's exciting time but a challenging time," but mentioned that the company is starting from a position of strength and "unbridled optimism." The Disney chief mentioned that new stories like "Star Wars" and Marvel fit in with the company's timeless stories, and all of them will populate Disney+.
Disney (DIS) knows how to tell a story and it brought in heavy hitters to tell the tale of its origins.
The company's investor day opened with a highly produced video that included narration by James Earl Jones (Disney's Mufasa from "The Lion King") and Patrick Stewart.
The video took guests on Disney's journey from its origins in 1923 to its latest acquisition of Fox. Deadpool, an R-rated character from Fox's Marvel universe and who is now with Disney, got a big laugh in the room for talking about mouse ears.
The video then went into the company's television offerings, including series from ABC and FX. It also touched on the company's innovations in broadcasting and at its parks and resorts. Walt Disney could be heard reading the 1955 dedication to Disneyland towards the end of the introduction video.
And with that, Disney's Investor Day has begun.