WHAT IS DISNEY PLUS (DISNEY+)
Disney Plus is a subscription-based streaming video service that is owned by Disney. It is similar to the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Apple TV+. The Disney Plus streaming service comprises a very large library of quality TV shows and movies that can be accessed and viewed at any time and more so, on a good number of devices. Disney+ was originally announced in September 2017 and finally launched on November 12, 2019.
It’s important to note that Disney Plus is available in the United States, Australia, The Netherlands, and Canada. The Disney+ streaming service is expected to be launched in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Spain on March 31, 2020.
Since it’s a new service, its library of TV shows and movies can’t be compared to Netflix. Regardless, Disney Plus gets the exclusivity for streaming a significant portion of Disney’s massive content archive. The Disney Plus website is the only place where new material like Star Wars’ The Mandalorian can be seen, as well as other upcoming content from Marvel Studios.
DISNEY PLUS FACED SOMES CHALLENGES AT THE START
The Disney Plus Streaming Service faced some problems on the launch date as folks experienced problems whilst trying to connect to the streaming service. The ones who eventually connected, complained of categories that wouldn’t load, broken images, as well as lack of access to Disney+ shows and movies.
Regardless, over 10 million sign-ups were gotten on launch day with the problems being sorted out gradually. Since then, things have improved with a playback indicator, resume indicator, and a ‘continue watching’ feature being added to improve the User Interface making it more user-friendly.
Hopefully, these features will be accessible across all Disney+ compatible devices with time. The new streaming service has shown a commitment to sorting out every technical issue that was identified.
The membership of the Disney Plus streaming service also skyrocketed. According to Apptopia, Disney+ already had 22 million downloads by mid-December. The figures are expected to be higher as Apptopia only counts mobile downloads excluding desktops, streaming devices, smart TVs, and other platforms.
By December 2019, Disney’s streaming trio boasts at least 53 million subscribers and Disney has forecasted that Disney+ alone will have between 60 and 90 million subscribers by 2024 and this will be second only to Netflix if streaming services are considered.
DEVICES SUPPORTED BY DISNEY PLUS
Disney Plus is available on devices such as:
- PlayStation 4
- Xbox One
- Apple TV (tvOS)
- Google Chromecast
- Android TV
- Select Amazon Fire TV devices
- LG Smart TVs
- Samsung Smart TVs
Every Apple device owner or owners of smart TVs and streaming devices that feature the Apple TV App can subscribe to and watch Disney+ within the all-in-one streaming interface. The streaming service also provides support for in-app purchases on Apple devices.
HOW MUCH DOES DISNEY PLUS COST?
The cost of Disney+ per month is $7 or $70 on a yearly basis alongside a 7-day free trial. However, it must be noted that Disney+ isn’t Disney’s only streaming service after the acquisition of 21st Century Fox. They also control Hulu and offer a sports-oriented ESPN+. With just $13, you can subscribe to a bundle that includes all three services, where you can save $5 per month.
The programming is also ad-free with banner advertisements for premium cable network Starz being the only exception on the login page. Disney also signed over the streaming rights for some movies like Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens some years back to give Starz something so that those films can be available on Disney+.
WHAT CAN BE FOUND ON DISNEY PLUS
Disney Plus comprises hundreds of Disney-related TV shows and movies. You’ll also get access to classic animated features like Pinocchio, Snow White, and the seven dwarfs, as well as the modern Disney shows like Descendants. The vintage live-action features like The Parent Trap and Old Yeller are also available.
The service also includes most Marvel movies (16). However, some MCU entries that are not available on Disney+ and will be unavailable until some points in 2020 due to the existing licensing agreement between Netflix and other streaming services.
All the Star Wars movies are available on Disney+ except the Solo: A Star Wars Story which is also currently under lease to Netflix for a few more months. All the animated films exclusive to Disney are also available on Disney Plus except Song of the South which was discarded in the 80s due to racially insensitive content.
Disney+ is now home to the entire Simpsons catalog. However, the episodes are only available in a joke-killing widescreen format although a fix for the aspect ratio will be available sometime in 2020. Meanwhile, the season 3 premiere ‘Stark Raving Dad’ which features the voice of Michael Jackson is not yet available.
Some of the original series currently on Disney+ include The Mandalorian, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, and several cartoons and lighthearted reality shows.
WHAT’S TO COME ON DISNEY PLUS
New Disney movies like Toy Story 4, Frozen 2 and Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker will be available on Disney+ sometime after they’ve been released in theaters and home video versions.
According to CEO Bob Iger, measures are being put in place to ensure that Disney+ eventually streams everything made under the Disney banner. However, mature movies released through Disney-owned Fox will only be shown on Hulu. The Mandalorian is already a hit on Disney Plus and the platform will host at least two more live-action Star Wars movies.
This will include a Rogue One prequel where Diego Luna and Alan Tudyk will reprise their roles and an Obi-Wan Kenobi miniseries which is set between the Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope featuring Ewan McGregor who reprises his role from the prequel films. Meanwhile, Star Wars ‘ seventh season known as Star Wars: The Clone Wars will be on Disney+ in January.
DISNEY+ VIDEO AND AUDIO QUALITY
Disney+ offers some content in both Dolby Vision. Most notably, Dolby’s dynamic version of HDR and Dolby Atmos. Dolby Vision is becoming popular although both Vision and Atmos are rarely seen in streaming environments. Only the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video support them and they are available on a limited amount of content.
The Star Wars movies on Disney+ are available in 4k with Dolby Vision and Atmos support, thereby making the streaming service the only platform where the films can be viewed in the aforementioned formats. The Disney Plus website also offers four streams simultaneously for its basic $7-per-month fee with regards to family viewing.
Since Disney has adopted the family-friendly approach in its programming, R-rated projects will not be available on Disney+. Therefore any TV show or movie that exceeds Disney’s typical PG-13 audience will be diverted the Hulu based on reports. Marvel’s Deadpool is one title meets the criteria for diversion to Hulu.