Disney will sprinkle its pixie dust on the streaming arena Tuesday, as its Disney Plus service debuts with an arsenal of marquee franchises including Marvel and Star Wars, original series with a built-in fan base and a cheap price to boot. The $7-a-month commercial-free service is poised to set the standard for other services like WarnerMedia's HBO Max and NBCUniversal's Peacock to follow, as major media companies behind hit TV shows and movies seek to siphon the subscription revenue now going to Netflix and other streaming giants, the AP reports. Disney's properties speak to its strengths. Besides classic characters such as Snow White and Pinocchio, Disney has big names like Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic.
Original shows include The Mandalorian, set in the Star Wars universe, and one on the Marvel character Loki. Disney Plus will also have all 30 past seasons of The Simpsons. Disney has said that it is losing about $150 million in licensing revenue in the most recent fiscal year from terminating deals with Netflix and other services. But Disney is betting that what it makes through subscriptions will more than make up for that—at least eventually. Consumers might be reluctant to drop an existing service such as Netflix or Amazon Prime to pay for something untested, but compared with other newcomers, experts believe Disney will have no problem gaining—and keeping—the 60 million to 90 million worldwide subscribers it is targeting for 2024. (Apple launched its streaming service Nov. 1.)