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Everything You Need to Know About Netflix Rival Disney Plus

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Shares of Disney DIS popped Friday morning after the company reported record-setting full-year revenue and earnings Thursday, along with solid top and bottom line Q4 beats. Yet, most of the buzz seems to surround Disney’s streaming push to take on Netflix (NFLX - Free Report) and Amazon AMZN. So, let’s look at everything we know about Disney’s streaming service so far.

Quick Q4 Overview

Disney’s Q4 revenue climbed 12% to reach $14.307 billion, which topped our $13.81 billion Zacks Consensus estimate. At the other end of the income statement, the media giant’s adjusted quarterly earnings soared 38%.

More specifically, Disney’s Media Networks unit revenues, which features its cable and broadcast division, jumped 9% to reach $5.963 billion. Meanwhile, Parks and Resorts revenues climbed 9% to $5.070 billion. Lastly, Disney’s Studio Entertainment division revenue skyrocketed 50% to touch $2.151 billion (also read: Here's How Disney Stacked Up Against Q4 Estimates).

Plus, the EU, the U.S. Justice Department, and both companies’ shareholders have now approved Disney's planned $71.3 billion purchase of key 21st Century Fox FOXA entertainment assets. Disney noted that it still needs a few more approvals, but is more optimistic that the deal will get done even earlier than it originally anticipated.



Streaming Basics

Now that we have quickly reviewed the company’s fourth quarter, it’s time to dive into everything we learned about Disney’s new streaming services from the company’s conference call.

First, the media conglomerate announced that it settled on a name: Disney Plus or Disney+. The company also maintained its late 2019 launch timeline. CEO Bob Iger said that Disney would show off some parts of the app, along with its pricing strategy at an investor meeting tentatively scheduled for April.

The app is set to “feature elegant navigation, personalization and content, segmented primarily by our core brands namely Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and the soon to be added National Geographic. It will blend library product with original content under these five brand banners and we are confident it will be a compelling consumer proposition,” Iger said on the conference call.

Disney executives didn’t give any updated pricing estimates. But Iger said last quarter that the company’s stand-alone streaming platform’s price would reflect its lower volume compared to soon-to-be-rivals such as Netflix—Netflix premium plans cost $13.99 per month, while standard plans go for $10.99.


The media giant said that it will roll out Disney+ with a “rich array” of original Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic content. Iger also said on the conference call that the platform will feature “unprecedented access” to Disney’s library of film and television content.

In terms of specific titles, the company has officially announced a decent chunk of names. Disney+ will feature the first live-action Star Wars series called The Mandalorian. The company is also currently making a second live-action Star Wars series that is said to be a prequel to Rogue One.

On the Marvel front, Disney noted that it is developing a live-action series about Loki, which will star Tom Hiddleston. On top of that, Disney has a High School Musical series in the works, as well as a Monsters, Inc. series from Pixar.

Disney also announced some of its original movie plans for Disney+. The company is set to make a Christmas movie starring Anna Kendrick, a live-action Lady and the Tramp film, and an adventure movie starring Willem Dafoe, titled Togo.

The firm is expected to roll out documentaries as well, including plans for a behind-the-scenes look at Walt Disney Imagineering.


It is worth remembering that Disney has slowly tried to end some of its current licensing deals that it made before it decided to make its own streaming TV push. This means that not every Disney-owned property will be available on Disney+.

However, Disney did stress that all of its movies from 2019 onward will be available on the streaming service. The 2019 slate of movies includes Captain Marvel, Aladdin, Toy Story 4, The Lion King, Star Wars: Episode IX, Frozen 2, and more.

Looking ahead, it seems that Disney’s streaming service could easily compete against or alongside Netflix and Amazon, and soon enough Apple AAPL and A&T T in a ever-growing streaming entertainment world.

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