Disney is close to unveiling its new streaming services, Disney+ and ESPN+. Those new services, along with Hulu, which Disney recently acquired a controlling share in, will serve as the platform for Disney’s digital delivery future. The question many analysts are asking is, will Disney’s services be as popular as Netflix? Barron’s Nicholas Jasinski reports:
The back story. Disney (ticker: DIS) so far has been coy about providing specific details, other than revealing that it plans to take a three-pronged approach to direct-to-consumer streaming. One service, called Disney+, will include family-focused programming from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic, plus original content created specifically for the service. ESPN+, already at 2 million subscribers, will be Disney’s home for streaming sports. And Disney will use its majority ownership of Hulu to make it its home for more grown-up content and live TV. Hulu already counted about 25 million subscribers in the U.S. at the end of 2018.
“Rather than creating one gigantic fat bundle of sports, general entertainment programming, and family programming, we thought we’d serve the consumer better by segregating all 3,” Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger said on the company’s first-quarter earnings call last month. “Ultimately, our goal would be to… give the consumer the kind of choice that we think consumers are going to demand more and more in today’s world. If they wanted to buy all three, we’d give them that opportunity potentially at a discount.”
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Jeremy Jones, CFA
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