Here’s one way Disney+, Disney’s upcoming streaming service, will be just like Netflix: it’s going to be ad-free.
That was one of the main takeaways early on during the official unveiling of Disney+ on Thursday afternoon, with Kevin Mayer, head of Disney’s streaming operation, making the announcement. Mayer later mentioned the service’s entire library will be available to download and watch offline to all customers, as long as they’re subscribers. The price of Disney+ has yet to be announced.
An ad-free Disney+ comes in contrast to ESPN+, Disney’s direct-to-consumer sports streaming service, which runs limited ads.
Disney+ will enter the market with the backing of the Mouse House’s extensive library — something it will need as it fights for subscriber dollars in an increasingly crowded streaming landscape. Hulu, which Disney gained a controlling interest in after its buyout of much of Fox’s assets was completed, has 25 million total U.S. subscribers; Netflix, by comparison, has about 60 million domestic customers. Disney+ is poised to become the biggest streaming attraction CEO Bob Iger has on hand, with titles from a series of Disney brands, including Marvel, Pixar, LucasFilm and its own vault. It’ll also feature a number of original productions.
Earlier on Thursday, Mayer said Disney would “likely” offer all three of its streaming services — ESPN+, Disney+ and Hulu — for a discounted rate upon their launch.
On their own, Hulu costs between $5.99 and $11.99 a month, while ESPN+ is $4.99 a month. Disney+ was formally unveiled for the first time on Thursday.