Disney Unlocking 'The Vault': Announces Launch of Disney Plus Streaming Service
Disney is set to double down on its investment in the streaming market, announcing that it will launch a new streaming platform, Disney Plus in November. It will be home to all sorts of classic and new Disney content. This effectively marks the end of the "Disney Vault," where popular Disney films would only be available on DVD or similar for a limited period of time before going "back in the vault" for months or years (thus influencing its own supply and demand cycle).
The new streaming service will likely be great for Disney fans and parents, featuring content aimed at a younger audience, along with Pixar, Marvel, National Geographic and Star Wars movies and shows. At launch, Disney expects thousands of TV episodes and hundreds of movies to be available on Day One, with the library set to grow from there.
The new streaming platform will have a starting price of only $6.99 per month, about half the cost of a Netflix subscription. You can save a few dollars by going all-in on a year's subscription for $70. This family-friendly steaming service will make for an easy-peasy family travel break during a layover or similar, assuming you've got tablets and Wi-Fi available.
However, for all of those fans who have been bingeing on Disney content on Netflix, whether at home or on the road (more and more hotels allow you to watch your own steaming accounts on hotel TVs), this is not such great news. Disney has chosen not to renew its agreement with Netflix and will move all its content to the new service. Most all Disney content will be removed from Netflix by the end of 2019.
While the $7 per month price tag is one of the cheaper monthly fees for a streaming service, don't expect that price to stay around forever. As Disney adds content to the service, we predict that price will increase, just as the costs of Hulu and Netflix went up over time. And naturally, regardless of the exact price, adding yet another monthly subscription to a budget comes with its own obvious set of drawbacks.
As for Hulu, in which Disney now owns a majority stake after its recent purchase of 21st Century Fox, content on that service will be aimed at a more adult audience. Hulu will retain most of the Fox content it currently offers, while the new Disney Plus service will integrate some Fox content on the new platform as well, such as offering all 30 seasons of "The Simpsons."
If you're a sports fan with ESPN Plus — which Disney also owns — you may soon be able to bundle Hulu, ESPN and the new Disney Plus for a reduced monthly subscription price for two or all three of the services.
While $7 per month doesn't seem like much, when you start paying for multiple streaming services, it adds up. So check out our guide for which credit cards offer the best benefits or rewards when it comes to paying those monthly subscriptions (some actually offer annual credits toward such services).