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Disney+ For $6.99 Per Month is a Declaration of War on Netflix

Disney has confirmed the pricing of the upcoming Disney+ video streaming service. The company says that for $6.99 per month, you will be able to stream all the content on Disney+. Also, for $12.99 per month, users will be able to subscribe to the bundle for Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ once the Disney+ service rolls out on November 12. Disney has confirmed this during the quarterly earnings call, and this is exactly the pricing the company had teased for the upcoming streaming service earlier this year.

Disney clearly has Netflix in its sights. The pricing of this bundle plan is at par with the Netflix Standard streaming plan ($12.99 per month) after the costs went up earlier this year, and costs $3 per month lesser than the Netflix Premium plan that allows simultaneous viewing on multiple devices and 4K Ultra HD streaming. That said, Hulu and ESPN+ will carry some in-app advertising. Yet, this could be great value purely in terms of the library of content that it allows access to.

Purchased separately, Hulu’s ad-supported plan is priced at $5.99 per month while ESPN+ costs $4.99 per month.

In India, it is expected that the Disney+ content will be made available on the Hotstar app.

The announcement of the standalone and bundle subscription pricing for Disney+ could give HBO and Apple something to think about. AT&T is expected to launch the HBO Max streaming service later this year, and was expected to price it around $15 per month. We still don’t know what the pricing of Apple’s upcoming Apple TV+ would be, but clearly, a new benchmark has been set.

“Direct-to-Consumer & International revenues for the quarter increased from $827 million to $3,858 million and segment operating loss increased from $168 million to $553 million. The increase in operating loss was due to the consolidation of Hulu, the ramp up of investment in ESPN+, which was launched in April 2018 and costs associated with the upcoming launch of Disney+. Results for the quarter also reflected a benefit from the inclusion of the 21CF businesses due to income at the Fox and National Geographic international channels, partially offset by a loss at Star India,” the company said in the quarterly earnings call with investors.

Disney believes that streaming services should help in countering the loss of linear cable TV subscriptions. That is also the reason why the company has spent a lot this year on acquiring Fox Studios’ content, and also added Live TV to Hulu’s arsenal. Disney CEO Bob Iger also said that the Home Alone, Night at the Museum and Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie franchises will be "reimagined" for Disney+.

Some of the big franchises that Disney+ will be able to rely on include Marvel and Star Wars. Disney+ is expected to be available on a variety of platforms, including smartphones and tablets, web browsers and smart TV platforms. The content will be available on 4K HDR, for devices that support those formats.