By Daniel Vrablic ‘20
In the Spring of 2019, Walt Disney’s Bob Iger announced to open up a revolutionary streaming service deemed to change the direction of the company’s content distribution forever: Disney+. When describing why the Walt Disney Company decided to make this change, Iger stated that he had to “assess the biggest opportunities for the company to grow in the long term,” and that “consumers were enjoying a different entertainment in the home.” This different entertainment is something many here have Saint Ignatius have gotten used to convenient viewing of shows and movies on portable devices. With this in mind, Disney+ will fundamentally alter the dissemination of its content by eventually including all Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, National Geographic, and Disney in a single online streaming service.
Among all of its amazing movies, Walt Disney, at its annual D23 Expo, announced several series, shows, and documentaries to expect on the new service. It will feature the first-ever live-action series of Star Wars: The Mandalorian, Monsters at Work, High School Musical: The Musical, and One Day at Disney. At the D23 expo, Disney also announced that famed Ewan McGregor will return as Obi-Wan Kenobi in a yet-to-be-titled Disney+ series. With all these special surprises and perks by gaining access to a Disney+ membership, Disney will be competing with Netflix for the attention of its large viewing audience.
The Disney+ launch is slated for November 12, 2019, in North America and will entail a monthly fee of $6.99 or $69.99 per year. The standard Netflix subscription costs $8.99 per month, with the highest fee being $15.99. When asked how Disney plans to compete against Netflix and still rake in profits (while Netflix has had massive deficits each year), Bob Iger stated that Disney has “100 years of great content that the world loves,” allowing Disney+ to be released with an advantage heading into the market. Disney has projected 60-90 million subscribers by 2024 and 40-60 million new subscriptions for Hulu, which Disney owns 60% of, in the same time period.
With each year, Disney has sought to expand its experience to its fans around the world. Just recently, Disney constructed the Shanghai Disney Resort in China, announced the upcoming creation of “Disney Genie,” a new app to customize park activities and create Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
With these additions, comes even more tourism and income to Disney attractions around the world. The Walt Disney Company, under the direction of Bob Iger, has raked in the most money in a fiscal year than ever before: $59.434 Billion!
As Disney continues to expand into “Infinity and Beyond,” the company serves to cater to a specific goal: to make every fan’s experience magical.