The $130-billion Walt Disney Co, said it will launch a direct-to-consumer video service Disney+ later this year, sending ripples down the online content market around the world.
Raising curtains on the widely anticipated move, Disney said the service will launch in the US on November 12, followed by systematic launches in markets around the world. It will be priced at $6.99 a month and $69.99 for a yearly subscription in the US. Subscription plans and timeline of launch in other geographies were not revealed.
“Disney+ marks a bold step forward in an exciting new era for our company – one in which consumers will have a direct connection to the incredible array of creative content that is The Walt Disney Company’s hallmark. We are confident that the combination of our unrivaled storytelling, beloved brands, iconic franchises, and cutting-edge technology will make Disney+ a standout in the marketplace, and deliver significant value for consumers and shareholders alike,” said Robert A Iger, chairman and chief executive officer, in an official statement.
Disney’s announcement was unnerving for the market, especially Netflix. The Los Gatos (California)-headquartered company lost as much as $8 billion in market capitalisation intra-day on Nasdaq on Friday, Bloomberg reported.
According to analysts, how disruptive Disney+ will be in India squarely depends on two things: content and pricing.
“Content is king. In India, sports entertainment and regional content have mass appeal. Their (Disney’s) plans in this regard will be closely watched,” said Aman Kumar, founder of Kalagato.co.
Disney has strong content but whether it invests in new local regional content will be key. Players across the board are investing in new TV shows specifically for the online.