Disney has long been at the forefront of entertainment evolution. With the unique ability to keep their finger on the pulse of what consumers want, Disney has remained an entertainment titan since it’s inception in the 20s. Now, they’re looking to capitalize on the latest entertainment pivot and expand their streaming services as people have been staying home since March, and seem likely to continue to do so. The entertainment king announced over 100 new shows and movies will be coming to it’s streaming platform, Disney+, and most of them branch-outs from popular and established series. One catch though; it’s going to cost consumers. 

Disney+ Announces Plans for New Content

The Mandalorian

On Thursday, Disney rolled out a plan that excited streaming subscribers everywhere: they’d be getting new content. A lot of new content. And not just randomized content; specially curated movies and shows based off what their customers love most. Among the franchises that will be seeing new content in 2021 and beyond are Star Wars, Marvel, FX and National Geographic.

According to the investor’s presentation on Thursday where the announcements were made, Disney+ is doing well. Really well. At least as far as subscriber counts go. At the end of the fiscal fourth quarter, Disney reported 73 million subscribers to it’s Plus platform. Now, they boast nearly 87 million. 

CNBC reports, “Kareem Daniel, head of the company’s new media and entertainment distribution group, revealed that Disney+ will become home to 10 Marvel series, 10 Star Wars series, 15 Disney live-action, Disney Animation, and Pixar series and 15 Disney live action, Disney Animation, and Pixar films.

In the world of Star Wars, Disney+ will add two new series from Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau, the masterminds behind The MandalorianThe Rangers of the New Republic and Ahsoka.

There will also be a series called Lando that follows the smooth-talking Lando Calrissian from the original trilogy of films as well as a series called The Acolyte which takes place during the final days of the High Republic. It has been dubbed a ‘mystery-thriller.’

These shows will join already announced series Andor, Kenobi, and the animated series The Bad Batch.”

Lucasfilm has teased Star Wars fans that Hayden Christensen and Ewan McGregor may be reprising their roles as Anakin Skywalker and Obi-wan Kenobi in the Kenobi series, igniting the fandom with excitement. 

Cult favorite and beloved movie Willow will also be receiving it’s own series on the streaming platform. 

As for Marvel, Nick Fury and War Machine are among the beloved characters who will be getting their own shows. 

Beloved movies like Big Hero Six, Moana, Zootopia, and the Princess and the Frog also have animated series planned, which fans are approaching with trepidation. Historically, animated series that branch from popular feature films don’t do as well as their parent movies. But with successes like The Mandalorian paving the way for Disney to turn a film universe into a successful tv series, Disney+ may be able to provide content that resonates with viewers. 

It All Comes with A Cost

This sort of mega-lurch into content production isn’t without its difficulties. The cost to produce this massive haul of new shows will be offset by production collaborations and outside funding, but Disney+ is looking to pad the transition anyway. Users will see a $1 hike on monthly subscription prices; up to $7.99 per month.

Disney announced that it expects to have between 230 and 260 million subscribers by 2024, allowing them to continue expanding their content universe. 

Per CNBC, “Disney executives also said the company is set to reach peak losses in fiscal 2021 and will achieve profitability by fiscal 2024. Additionally, the company plans to spend between $8 million and $9 billion in 2024, a result of spending more on its five core brands.”

Hulu and ESPN+

ESPN

Lest customers forget, Disney also owns Hulu and ESPN. On Thursday, executives announced plans for it’s other streaming services as well. 

Hulu will soon be producing it’s own original movie content. Popular shows like Ramy and The Handmaid’s Tale will be adding new content in the coming year. And the Kardashian family, with the end of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, has plans to join the platform in late 2021 on an as-yet unannounced exclusive show. 

CNBC announces, “The FX channel, which has original content on Hulu, has granted It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia has another four seasons and will have new shows called The Old Man, starring Jeff Bridges and Reservation Dogs from Taika Waititi.

FX will feature an Alien series based on the world of the Alien movie franchise. The platform will also have a show called Shogun based on the best-selling novel by James Clavell.

ESPN has struck a deal with the SEC to bring exclusive game content to its Plus platform beginning in 2024. 

Competitors for Netflix’s Throne

While Netflix continues to be the streaming king and Amazon Prime is an established competitor, Disney+ has the powerhouse to take the throne. With a growing audience of bored people stuck at home looking for entertainment, right now is the time to capture attention and forge loyalty. Disney looks to be doing exactly that, as this announcement has stirred excitement and is likely to bring a flood of new subscribers as the content begins to roll out. People were hesitant to join yet another streaming service when Disney+ first launched, but it’s growing popularity proves that people are still willing to spend that monthly subscription cash if it means staving off boredom. Disney also has the pull to draw big-name actors and producers to it’s team. Over the next 3 years, the bevy of new shows and movies will provide customers with unprecedented access to fandoms long thought to be closed and tucked away on a shelf. 

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