Disney has officially closed on the $71.3 billion merger with 21st Century Fox that has been in the works for over a year. Chief Executive Bob Iger stated, “This is an extraordinary and historic moment for us — one that will create significant long-term value for our company and our shareholders.” Disney already owns Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars. Now they will have access to characters like Deadpool and the X-Men allowing for the full Marvel family to be united. Disney will now own Fox television networks such as FX Networks and National Geographic. They will also obtain Fox’s 30 percent ownership of Hulu, bringing their total percentage of ownership up to 60. Fox has sold most of their entertainment properties but will keep control of its broadcast network including Fox News, and Fox Sports.
Disney is also now in a better position to compete with Netflix with their new streaming service, Disney+. Disney is officially ending its relationship with Netflix this year to launch their own subscription platform. This platform will exclusively stream Disney movies, TV shows, and other original programming. A lot of the original programming planned is related to the company’s franchises like Marvel and Star Wars. A challenge that Disney faces is to create a streaming service that will live up to Disney’s high standards. Netflix and Amazon have had a hold on this industry for over 10 years. According to Reif Ehrlich,“They have to make sure that their direct-to-consumer service works. It’s their biggest, boldest strategic move.” Disney+ will also be the only place to stream new movies after they are out of theaters, as in Captain Marvel. Disney does not plan to debut it’s big-budget productions on Disney+, these will still have their run in theaters first. Since Disney already owns most of Hulu, you will have to subscribe to Hulu also in order to get access to Disney’s edgier material. Disney+ will be exclusively family-friendly content. Disney is shooting for a release date for late 2019. They are expected to reveal more specifics on April 11, 2019. Disney+ is set to cost less than Netflix per month. This streaming service will have less volume than Netflix so the price will reflect that. There is still no set amount that the subscription will cost.
Disney continues to rapidly expand through the entertainment industry. If Disney+ does as well as it is projected to, then Disney could become an even bigger powerhouse. People all over the world are excited to begin using Disney+ in late 2019. We will be sure to keep an eye on this as it progresses.
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