Saturday, 18 November, 2017

Live Action Star Wars Series To Debut On Disney Streaming Service

Will Direct-to Consumer Business Model Be a Success for Disney New 'Star Wars' Trilogy in Works With Rian Johnson, TV Series Also Coming to Disney Streaming Service
Edmund Wade | 11 November, 2017, 00:24

Iger also revealed that Disney's new service will be priced "substantially below" Netflix, at least when it initially launches. This week's seen a flurry of Disney-related news, with a new trilogy of Star Wars films from Rian Johnson being announced just after it broke that new live-action Star Wars and Marvel shows are in the works.

Iger said Disney is considering licensing third-party content for the service, "provided the product fits with the Disney brand".

"We've given a lot of thought to pricing", Iger said during the earnings call on Thursday.

Taking control of streaming is a "big strategic shift" for Disney, Iger explained.

Walt Disney's shares rose 3 percent on Friday, as Wall Street shrugged off poor financial results and focused instead on the media giant's commitment to build a service that will compete aggressively with video streaming pioneer Netflix. Netflix stock peaked at 204.38 on October 17, a day after posting better-than-expected third-quarter results.

As part of its plans to create a brand new streaming platform to rival the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime, Disney has also revealed it will be producing brand new original content. Disney CEO Bob Iger made the announcement on the company's fourth quarter earnings call.

As for its cable networks, operating income decreased US$15 million to US$1.2 billion due to a decrease at Freeform and partially offset by growth at the Disney Channels due to higher program sales. "But it'll simply launch with less volume, and the price will reflect that", he said. "Our goal is to attract as many subs as possible starting out, ' he said, reflecting his desire to build up a massive audience".

Whether Netflix can get away with those prices when Disney enters the market is another question. Netflix now charges between $8 and $12 a month. It also offers a premium plan for $13.99 a month, which allows ultra-high definition streaming on up to four screens at the same time.

Disney's new service, then, doesn't really pose a risk to Netflix in terms of subscribers jumping ship, or even all that large of a threat that folks won't sign up for Netflix. Netflix ended the September quarter with 109.25 million streaming subscribers worldwide, including 52.77 million in the USA and 56.48 million in global markets.

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