Disney to Launch Streaming Service in UK

“This the future in many respects,” CEO Bob Iger says

The Walt Disney Company is preparing to launch a new digital streaming service in the UK.

The company announced on Wednesday that DisneyLife will bundle thousands of Disney TV episodes, books, albums, and movies, including the Pixar catalogue and classics like “Snow White” and “The Jungle Book.”

“This is the future, in many respects,” Disney CEO Bob Iger said per the Financial Times. “We’re seeing more and more opportunities to reach consumers directly and not through middlemen, and we’re seeing consumers wanting product in different ways.”

The service is due to launch next month, with the goal being to expand into France, Germany, and Spain in the next year. Iger said that there are currently no plans to launch such a service in the U.S., but remained open to the possibility. “The technology platform that this sits on is scalable to the US and is scalable to our other brands,” he said.

Iger also said that Marvel and “Star Wars” films will not be available on DisneyLife, but that this new service could serve as a model to launch standalone services for those franchises in the future.

The move comes as companies like Apple and Netflix move toward app-based viewing. “There’s a general sense that the world is going in this direction,” Iger said. “There will be multichannel TV and we will be part of it, but the app experience offers many more layers and much more richness in content than a channel, where one program follows another program.”

The service will cost £9.99 per month. Content will be available in English, Spanish, French, German and Italian. Users can also download content to view offline.