International launch set for Disney+ streaming service

Offering film and TV entertainment including its "Star Wars" and Marvel franchises as well as its ABC content and an extensive library acquired from 21st Century Fox, Disney+ hopes to be a major challenger to Netflix. (Supplied: Disney)
Updated 19 August 2019
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International launch set for Disney+ streaming service

  • It will launch in Canada, Netherlands, and the US on November 12, and in Australia and New Zealand a week later
  • Disney+ will launch at a subscription price of $6.99 monthly in the US

SAN FRANCISCO: The Walt Disney Company said on Monday its streaming television service will debut in November in the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the Netherlands.

Offering film and TV entertainment including its "Star Wars" and Marvel franchises as well as its ABC content and an extensive library acquired from 21st Century Fox, Disney+ hopes to be a major challenger to Netflix.

It will launch in Canada, Netherlands, and the US on November 12, and in Australia and New Zealand a week later, the company said, and is expected to expand to most major markets within the following two years.

The entertainment giant also announced deals for Disney+ to be available on Apple, Google, Microsoft, Roku and Sony internet-linked devices.

Chief executive Bob Iger said during a recent earnings call the company would take advantage of its control of Hulu to bundle an ad-supported version of the streaming television service with Disney+ and ESPN in the US for a monthly subscription price of $12.99.

Iger said Disney was "focused on leveraging Fox's vast library of great titles... for example reimagining 'Home Alone,' 'Night at the Museum,' 'Cheaper by the Dozen,' and 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' for a new generation on Disney+."

Former Fox superhero movie franchises including "X-Men," "Fantastic 4" and "Deadpool" will now come under the Marvel umbrella, Iger said, adding that parent company Disney sees "great long-term value" in the titles.

The increasingly competitive TV streaming marketplace will soon feature HBO Max, Apple and NBCUniversal platforms as well as Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Disney+ will launch at a subscription price of $6.99 monthly in the US.


Netflix, Apple cross swords in Indian streaming market

Updated 12 September 2019
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Netflix, Apple cross swords in Indian streaming market

  • Netflix launched in India in 2016 and two of its Indian-made series have won critical acclaim — “Sacred Games” and “Leila”
  • US technology giant Apple on Wednesday announced the launch of its streaming platform Apple TV+ in India, hoping to upend competition

MUMBAI: Competition in India’s booming streaming market is heating up as Netflix joins forces with a director of Bollywood feel-good blockbusters and Apple launches its TV platform for 99 rupees ($1.39) a month.
Netflix announced late Wednesday a long-term partnership with Karan Johar’s Dharmatic Entertainment to make a range of new fiction and non-fiction series and films for the platform.
Johar has directed eight films including “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai” with Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan, and “Raazi,” nominated for best picture at next week’s Indian International Film Academy (IIFA) Awards, dubbed the Bollywood Oscars.
“It’s going to be P.H.A.T — pretty hot and tempting,” said Johar, whose Dharma Entertainment is one of India’s biggest production firms and which already teamed up with Netflix for the successful “Lust Stories” anthology.
Netflix launched in India in 2016 and two of its Indian-made series have won critical acclaim — “Sacred Games” starring Saif Ali Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, and “Leila” with Huma Qureishi.
But Netflix faces stiff competition in Asia’s third-largest economy as Amazon’s Prime Video, Disney’s Hotstar, Alt Balaji and other local platforms jostle for digital subscriptions and eyeballs.
US technology giant Apple on Wednesday announced the launch of its streaming platform Apple TV+ in India, hoping to upend competition.
Netflix is available in India from 199 rupees a month and as millions of first-time users access Internet in Asia’s third-largest economy, analysts expect competition to intensify.
India’s video-streaming industry is expected to grow at nearly 22 percent per annum to 119 billion rupees ($1.7 billion) by 2023 according to consultancy PwC, Bloomberg News reported.
Netflix chief Reed Hastings has said the company’s goal is 100 million customers in India — almost 25 times its estimated subscriber base there as of this year, Bloomberg said.