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Disney (DIS) Adds Its Own, Marvel & Pixar Films in 4K on iTunes

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Disney’s (DIS - Free Report) films can now be rented or purchased in 4K video quality on Apple’s (AAPL - Free Report) iTunes Store, per a 9to5 Mac report.

After years of being available at a maximum video quality of 1080p, the upgrade is available in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom as of now. Other countries are expected to get access to the 4K content by the end of the year.

Moreover, users who purchased the 1080p versions or have them through a connected library with Movies Anywhere should now be able to access the 4K versions at no additional cost, as well as watch them on the Apple TV app.

In addition to a higher resolution picture, the films will also feature Dolby Vision HDR and Atmos surround sound, similar to how they’re available on Disney+ streaming app.

4K HDR Films Added to iTunes

Clients have had the option to get to 4K HDR forms of Disney and Marvel films on Apple TV through Vudu since 2018 and through Disney+ since last year, yet the current arrangement increases the accessibility of 4K titles to the iTunes Store also.

The content includes Disney, Marvel, and Pixar movies. Up to 80 titles have been added including animated movies such as Frozen, Moana, and Big Hero 6, live action movies like Hocus Pocus, Maleficent, and Cinderella (2015), Marvel Studios’ Black Panther, Captain America: Civil War, and The Avengers, and Pixar hits such as Coco, Finding Nemo, and Cars, to name a few.

In addition, most of the entire Star Wars Skywalker Saga is now in 4k with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos on iTunes, as well as Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Disney+ Likely to Remain Unaffected

Disney had withheld the 4K versions of its films from other movie other platforms like iTunes or Apple TV when it launched Disney+ to make the higher-resolution videos a reason to subscribe to the streaming service.

While availability of Disney’s vast library of films in 4K at other platforms means that fans can watch these films in top quality without signing up for Disney+, it is unlikely to impact the streamer’s runaway success.

Disney+ is expected to have between 60 million and 90 million subscribers globally by the end of fiscal 2024. However, based on the current coronavirus-driven momentum, Disney+ is expected to surpass the lower end in 2020. As of Aug 3, Disney+’s subscriber base had already surpassed 60.5 million.

The company recently launched GroupWatch co-viewing feature to connect friends and families to watch movies and shows from the entire Disney+ library, even when apart.

Moreover, the streaming service has been benefiting from this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company’s bundle offering that comprises ESPN and Hulu. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Markedly, according to Sensor Tower, downloads of the Disney+ app spiked 68% from Sep 4 through Sep 6 from prior weekend levels with the launch of Mulan. Moreover, consumer spending on Disney+ also spiked 193% over the same period.

Mulan’s success undoubtedly strengthens Disney+’s competitive position in the global video streaming market, which was valued at $42.6 billion in 2019 and will witness a CAGR of 20.4% between 2020 and 2027, per a recent report by Grand View Research.

Markedly, Disney+’s closest competitor Netflix (NFLX - Free Report) added 10.09 million paid subscribers globally in its recently reported second-quarter 2020 results. Moreover, streaming competition is set to intensify with the launch of Comcast’s (CMCSA - Free Report) ad-supported streaming service Peacock and Apple’s strengthening Apple TV+ content lineup.

Nonetheless, Disney is expected to benefit from the wide range of movies lined up for 2021 including Black Widow starring Scarlett Johansson, Legend of the Ten Rings and Shang Chi, Marvel’s first film with an Asian lead.

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