Disney’s Streaming Service gets an official name and a second Star Wars series

Disney’s Streaming Service gets an official name and a second Star Wars series

The Disney Streaming Service has a name and to the surprise of almost no one, it is Disney+, which follows the format of ESPN’s streaming service, ESPN+. This direct-to-consumer over-the-top platform will deliver Disney content, which includes popular Disney films as well as its family friendly other titles like Star Wars, Marvel, and surely some of the new content from 21st Century Fox (like National Geographic).

Disney already has a number of original series and movies in production that will skip television and theatrical distribution and go right to the streaming service. We’ve been keeping our eyes on The Mandelorian, which will be the first Star Wars series for Disney+, but today we learned a second series is in development.

The series will follow the adventures of Rebel spy Cassian Andor during the formative years of the Rebellion and prior to the events of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Diego Luna will reprise the role of Andor, which he originated in the 2016 film.

“Going back to the Star Wars universe is very special for me,” said Luna. “I have so many memories of the great work we did together and the relationships I made throughout the journey. We have a fantastic adventure ahead of us, and this new exciting format will give us the chance to explore this character more deeply.”

The rousing spy thriller will explore tales filled with espionage and daring missions to restore hope to a galaxy in the grip of a ruthless Empire. A release date for the series will be announced at a later date.

Disney+ is also assembling a live-action series centered around a fan-favorite character from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Iger today confirmed that Marvel Studios is developing a series based on Loki, the god of mischief, to star Tom Hiddleston.

There was some confusion about the potential name for the service when a app icon for the Play Disney Parks app was confused for a leak of the streaming service. There’s also a bit of confusion about the name Disney+ since the ‘+’ symbol cannot be used in a domain or URL. It’s also a search operator, which means you can’t use it when searching on Google or even within many Disney owned apps. Looks like for those purposes, it will be spelled out as Disney Plus.

Disney+ is expected to debut in 2019 with a price Disney CEO Bob Iger promises will be reasonable. Visit DisneyPlus.com to register your email and be kept up to date on the service.

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Marvel Studios chief discusses Marvel’s Avengers coming to Disney streaming service

Kevin Feige at 2015 D23 Expo

In an interview with THR, Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige briefly discussed Marvel’s Avengers-focused programming for the as-yet-unnamed direct-to-consumer streaming service from Disney. The plan appears to be to produce longer ‘campfire’ stories.

“But Paul [Greengrass] mentioned the streaming service, and I think that is something that we’re going to be adding content to, which is exciting. I love your analogy with the campfire, right? As many people as you can get around the campfire and tell stories. Campfires can be different: We are going to tell stories for the streaming service that we wouldn’t be able to tell in a theatrical experience—a longer-form narrative, that’s what comics are, it’s about as longform a narrative as exists. But also maintaining that theatrical experience, which is our bread and butter, and the lines around the block, if you’re lucky.”

When I think campfire stories, I think shaggy dog stories that weave around for a long time with no real purpose other than a final punchline. I hope that’s not what Feige meant.

I like the television medium for Marvel (and Star Wars) because the storytelling you can do over 10-20 hours of programming allows for more characters to develop and for fans to get to know them, their strengths and foibles, via more plots and stories than you can fit into a 2 hour movie. Think Game of Thrones vs Lord of the Rings.

Netflix recently canceled two of its Marvel shows (Iron Fist and Luke Cage) leaving plenty of room for more Marvel on various streaming services. With Marvel under its roof, Disney has the home field advantage, of course.

We’re already expecting a number of shows from Marvel on Disney’s Streaming Service, but the two closest to confirmation are:

  • Loki and Scarlet Witch
  • Bucky (aka Winter Soldier) and Falcon team-up series.

What do you think of those pairings? What other long-form storytelling from Marvel would you like to see on Disney’s upcoming streaming service?

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Disney’s race to beat Netflix with new direct-to-consumer streaming service

Disney’s CEO Bob Iger has said that the Walt Disney Company’s new direct-to-consumer streaming service will be “the biggest priority of the company during calendar 2019.” As entertainment companies continue to consolidate, the race is on to get into the homes and onto the phones of consumers with all the content produced and acquired by the mega-companies. Variety has a nice long article on the battle Disney, Comcast, and AT&T face catching up with Netflix for the consumer entertainment dollar.

Disney is considered to be the lead challenger, in part because the Mouse House is already an investor in Hulu, one of Netflix’s primary competitors in the Over the Top (OTT) space. OTT viewing of ‘television’ is projected to grow to 20-30% of the overall market in the next 5 years. Making it a valuable space for Disney to move into and they’ve already spent beaucoup bucks buying companies to help them get there.

Disney has also announced a second Netflix competitor that will be more ‘on-brand;’ hosting original movies and tv series, along with access to classic items from the Disney vault, and more recent series like cinematic Star Wars and Marvel, starting with those released in 2018. This as-yet unnamed service is expected to arrive late 2019.

What the network won’t have is some of its legacy content that is still under contract with other platforms. Those old Star Wars films, Marvel films, and the Marvel TV shows on Netflix. It might be awhile before the rights for streaming return to Disney.

“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,” Iger said to Variety.

Iger has made clear Disney plans to walk before it runs as it relates to the volume of content. As the amount of content is expected to be less than what’s on Netflix, the price of the new streaming service will be priced accordingly lower. Netflix ranges from $8 to $14, so expect something even lower than that.

There was a report today that the name of this service would be “Disney Play,” but that was debunked by Disney. There’s already a “Disney Parks Play” app, so I don’t see them using such a similar name, but who knows.

If you want a deep dive into the state of the race to beat Netflix then be sure to check out the whole article.

Previously: What content we can expect to find on Disney’s new streaming service.

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Disney’s streaming service starts to develop its content catalog

Star Wars, Marvel, and many titles from the Disney vault to be featured

The potential shape of Disney’s direct-to-consumer streaming service is beginning to come into focus. The service, which is scheduled to debut in 2019, will feature new programming, access to Disney’s library of family friendly TV shows and movies (soon to be expanded with Fox brands), and more recent productions (although there are some rights issues to be dealt with). Thanks to today’s 3rd quarter earnings call, we have a bit more information to share.

Live-action TV series already announced include the “Star Wars” series produced by Jon Favreau (director of “Iron Man” and “The Jungle Book”). The budget for that show is believed to be in the “Game of Thrones” realm.

The animated “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” revival has been given a shot on the new platform. The series will give the Clone Wars storyline the finish it deserved. More rumored shows include “High School Musical,” “The Muppets,” and more Marvel super hero shows.

Disney also has a couple live-action remakes in the pipeline that are expected to show up on the service. “Lady and the Tramp” (1955) and “The Sword in the Stone” (1963) remakes are both expected to make their debut on the streaming service.

Other properties expected to be on the service include:

Remakes
3 Men and a Baby
Father of the Bride
Honey, I shrunk the Kids
The Parent Trap

Originals
Don Quixote
Flora & Ulysses
Noelle
The Paper Magician
Stargirl
Togo
Timmy Failure

TV series
High Fidelity
Mighty Ducks
Monsters, Inc

Starting with its 2019 theatrical releases, Disney has all the rights to run them on its streaming service. This includes Captain Marvel, Dumbo, Frozen 2, Star Wars Episode IX and more. Rights to other properties will become available over time (with many Marvel Cinematic Universe movies moving from Netflix to the service next year). Disney is reportedly in heavy negotiations with Turner broadcasting for rights to all Star Wars movies up through “Solo: A Star Wars Story.”

Most of the non-family friendly movies, including those that come with the purchase of 21st Century Fox, would end up on Hulu. However, some Fox properties, like National Geographic will likely end up on the service, as will films from Fox animation and family movies like “Home Alone.”

As for pricing, Disney claims that not having as many movies as other streaming services, like say Netflix, is not a handicap because Disney can price its service lower to fit the smaller library. This implies as more movies and TV shows join the service, the price will go up.

Interestingly, Iger said that they’re also looking at potential bundles of the new streaming service, ESPN+, and Hulu.

Now all we need is a name. People around Hollywood are calling it DisneyFlix, but that’s not official. If Disney follows the formula it set up with ESPN, it will be Disney+. I’ve heard a few other names as well.

On today’s earning call Disney CEO Bob Iger said the streaming service would be the company’s biggest priority in 2019. At the same time he said the company feels it can take its time to get the rollout right (“walk before we can run”), so don’t expect too much news before Disney is ready to reveal it.

It wasn’t too many years ago when Disney said there was nothing to worry from companies like Netflix and that they’d continue to focus on their broadcast and cable deals. Now the trick for Disney is to make their homegrown streaming services appealing to their fans, and the general public, while still maintaining their current revenue levels from more traditional distribution. Can they make it work? Who knows, they’re certainly going to give it a try.

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Upcoming Events

  1. Miami/Brickell Festival of the Arts

    October 20, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - January 15, 2019 @ 6:00 pm UTC+0
  2. NOVEMBERFEST 2018

    November 14 @ 4:00 pm - November 18 @ 8:00 pm UTC+0
  3. Florida Tiny House Music Festival (3rd Annual)

    November 16 @ 12:00 pm - November 18 @ 6:00 pm UTC+0
  4. Orlando Balloon Glow

    November 16 @ 5:00 pm - November 18 @ 10:00 pm UTC+0
  5. Run The Race 5K -Christian Fun Run & Walk

    November 17 @ 8:00 am - 11:00 am UTC+0
  6. Day of Thanks – Community Food Give Away

    November 17 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm UTC+0
  7. Xtreme Sports Festival

    November 17 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm UTC+0
  8. SWFLORIDA CON

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  9. DeLand Fall Festival of the Arts 2018

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    October 20, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - January 15, 2019 @ 6:00 pm UTC+0
  2. NOVEMBERFEST 2018

    November 14 @ 4:00 pm - November 18 @ 8:00 pm UTC+0
  3. Florida Tiny House Music Festival (3rd Annual)

    November 16 @ 12:00 pm - November 18 @ 6:00 pm UTC+0
  4. Orlando Balloon Glow

    November 16 @ 5:00 pm - November 18 @ 10:00 pm UTC+0
  5. Run The Race 5K -Christian Fun Run & Walk

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  7. Xtreme Sports Festival

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  9. DeLand Fall Festival of the Arts 2018

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