Disney+ Announcement Sends Company Stock Soaring

Disney stock surged nearly 11% at Friday’s open following the announcement of its new streaming service. The stock is on track for its best day since May 2009.

The company announced Thursday plans to launch Disney+ in November, its long awaited Netflix rival. The service will cost $6.99 per month— that’s $2 cheaper than Netflix’s basic plan. The monthly price is lower than what was expected.

It will be the exclusive home for streaming Marvel, “Star Wars,” Disney Animation, Pixar and “The Simpsons.”

Disney laid out its streaming strategy on Thursday in a nearly three-hour presentation during its Investor Day in Burbank, California.

Disney’s executives introduced the world to Disney+ and exclusive new content on the service, including its “Star Wars” series, “The Mandalorian.”

Disney packed a lot into those three hours. Here are the five most important things to know about Disney+:

1. Disney+ will be here for the holidays at a low price: The company’s new streaming service will launch on November 12, 2019 in North America. It’ll cost $6.99 a month or $69.99 a year.

It will be the exclusive home for streaming Marvel, “Star Wars,” Disney Animation and Pixar for relatively cheap: Disney+ will cost half of what Netflix charges for its standard plan.

2. The Disney+ homepage looks awfully familiar: Disney gave investors a look at the interface of its new service and it sure looked a lot like the homepages of Apple TV or Netflix.

At the top of the Disney+ homepage is the “hero carousel,” a section that will host Disney+ originals, films and series. “Brand areas,” little boxes that say “Pixar” or “Marvel” on them, populate the Disney+ homepage below that. When you hover over the Disney box, fireworks go off behind the iconic Disney castle. The whole page is a grid of brands and content.

One of Netflix’s greatest benefits is its ease of use, and Disney is hoping to follow in those footsteps. The Disney+ homepage shows subscribers everything Disney owns, reminding them that Disney is the only place to watch it all.

3. A Disney streaming bundle may be the next step: Disney’s streaming brand is bigger than just its new service. Disney also owns ESPN+ and a controlling stake in Hulu.

Kevin Mayer, the chairman of Disney’s Direct-to-Consumer unit, told investors that it was “likely” that Disney will eventually bundle its streaming services together for a “discounted price.”

4. Content is the king of Disney’s magic kingdom: Disney knows that its brands and content are its biggest selling point to potential subscribers.

Disney announced multiple series coming from its blockbuster brand, Marvel Studios, a few original “Star Wars” series (as well as the original films), Pixar films and shorts, documentaries from National Geographic and Disney animated classics.

Disney+ will also be the exclusive home to 30 seasons of “The Simpsons” — TV’s longest running prime time scripted series.

5. Disney+ will hit the ground running: Disney is not wasting any time. The company said it will release “more than 25 original series and 10 original films, documentaries and specials” in the first year of Disney+. Many series and films like “The Mandalorian,” “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” and “Lady & The Tramp” will be ready on day one.

The service will have a collection of more than 7,500 television episodes and 500 films.

“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,” Disney CEO Bob Iger said in a statement.

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