Disney+

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Disney+
Logo for the Disney+ service.
Screenshot
Screenshot of the Disney+ homepage on November 12, 2019
Disney+ homepage screenshot on November 12, 2019
Type of site
OTT video streaming platform
Country of originUnited States
Area servedAmericas, Western Europe and parts of the Indo-Pacific (see full list)
PresidentMichael Paull
ParentDisney Media and Entertainment Distribution
URLdisneyplus.com Edit this at Wikidata
RegistrationRequired
UsersIncrease 116.0 million (as of July 3, 2021)
LaunchedNovember 12, 2019; 22 months ago (November 12, 2019)
Current statusActive

Disney+ (pronounced Disney Plus) is an American subscription video on-demand over-the-top streaming service owned and operated by the Media and Entertainment Distribution division of The Walt Disney Company.[1] The service primarily distributes films and television series produced by The Walt Disney Studios and Walt Disney Television, with dedicated content hubs for brands such as Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and including Star in some countries. Original films and television series are also distributed on Disney+.

Disney+ relies on technology developed by Disney Streaming Services, which was originally established as BAMTech in 2015 when it was spun off from MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM). Disney increased its ownership share of BAMTech to a controlling stake in 2017, and subsequently transferred ownership to DTCI as part of a corporate restructuring in anticipation of Disney's acquisition of 21st Century Fox. With BAMTech helping to launch ESPN+ in early 2018, and Disney's streaming distribution deal with Netflix ending in 2019, Disney took the opportunity to use technologies being developed for ESPN+ to establish a Disney-branded streaming service that would feature its content. Production of films and television shows for exclusive release on the platform began in late 2017.

Disney+ was launched on November 12, 2019, in the United States, Canada, and the Netherlands, and expanded to Australia, New Zealand, and Puerto Rico a week later. It became available in select European countries in March 2020 and in India in April through Star India's Hotstar streaming service, which was rebranded as Disney+ Hotstar. Additional European countries received the service in September 2020, with the service expanding to Latin America in November 2020. Upon launch, it was met with positive reception of its content library, but was criticized for technical problems. Alterations made to films and television shows also attracted media attention. Ten million users had subscribed to Disney+ by the end of its first day of operation.[a] The service has 116 million global subscribers as of July 2021.[3]

History

In late 2015, Disney launched a streaming service in the United Kingdom called DisneyLife to test the streaming market.[4][5] It was eventually replaced by Disney+ on March 24, 2020.[6]

In August 2016, Disney acquired a minority stake in BAMTech (a spin-off of MLB Advanced Media's streaming technology business) for $1 billion, with an option to acquire a majority stake in the future. Following the purchase, ESPN announced plans for an "exploratory [over-the-top] project" based on its technology (ESPN+) to supplant its existing linear television services.[7][8] On August 8, 2017, Disney invoked its option to acquire a controlling stake in BAMTech for $1.58 billion, increasing its stake to 75%. Alongside the acquisition, the company also announced plans for a second, Disney-branded direct-to-consumer service drawing from its entertainment content, which would launch after the company ends its existing distribution agreement with Netflix in 2019.[9][10] Not long after, Agnes Chu, story and franchise development executive at Walt Disney Imagineering, was the first executive appointed for the unit, as senior vice president of content.[11] Chu led two projects to launch the new unit. First, Disney needed to verify exactly what content could be physically and legally made available through a streaming service right away, which meant physically reviewing all content in Disney's vaults that had not recently undergone restoration, and reviewing "binders of pieces of paper with legal deals" to identify potential obstacles.[12] Second, Chu met with leaders of Disney's various content-producing divisions to start brainstorming which projects would be appropriate for release on a streaming service rather than in movie theaters.[12] Chu later left in August 2020.[13]

In December 2017, Disney announced its intent to acquire key entertainment assets from 21st Century Fox. Intended to bolster Disney's content portfolio for its streaming products,[14][15] the acquisition was completed on March 20, 2019.[16]

In January 2018, it was reported that former Apple and Samsung executive Kevin Swint had been appointed as the senior vice president and general manager reporting to BAMTech CEO Michael Paull, who leads development.[17][18] In March 2018, Disney's top level segment division was reorganized with the formation of Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International, which then included BAMTech, which contains "all consumer-facing tech and products".[19] In June of the same year, longtime Disney studio marketing chief, Ricky Strauss, was named president of content and marketing, however reporting to chairman of Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International Kevin Mayer.[20][21] In January 2019, Fox Television Group COO Joe Earley was named executive vice president of marketing and operations.[22] In June 2019, Matt Brodlie was named as senior vice president of international content development.[23] In August 2019, Luke Bradley-Jones was hired as senior vice president of direct to consumer and general manager of Disney+ for Europe and Africa.[24]

On November 8, 2018, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that the service would be named Disney+ and that the company was targeting a launch in late 2019.[25] A September launch was reportedly planned,[26] but on April 11, 2019, Disney announced that Disney+ would launch on November 12, 2019 in the United States. Disney stated that it planned to roll the service out worldwide over the next two years, targeting Western Europe and Asia-Pacific countries by late 2019 and early 2020, and Eastern Europe and Latin America during 2020. The timing of international launches is subject to the acquisition or expiration of existing streaming rights deals for Disney content.[27] On August 6, 2019, Iger announced that it will offer a streaming bundle of Disney+, ESPN+, and the ad-supported version of Hulu for $12.99 per month available at launch.[28] At the D23 Expo in August 2019, Disney opened subscriptions to Disney+ at a discounted rate for three years.[29]

On September 12, 2019, a trial version of Disney+ became available in the Netherlands with limited content available. This testing phase lasted until the official launch on November 12, when trial users were switched to a paid plan.[30][31] Disney+ became available for pre-order in September in the United States with a 7-day free trial upon launch.[32]

In October 2019, Disney released a three-and-a-half-hour trailer on YouTube to showcase their launch lineup.[33] It was also reported that Disney would ban advertisements for competitor Netflix from most of its TV platforms, except ESPN.[34][35]

Disney+ launched on November 12, 2019 Midnight Pacific Time in the announced initial three launch countries.[36] The services had some issues the first day from logging in (about 33% of the problems), accessing specific content (about 66%), setting up profiles and watch lists. Some of the issues were due to third party devices.[37]

On November 18, 2019, an investigation by ZDNet discovered that thousands of users' accounts were hacked using keystroke logging or info-stealing malware. Their email addresses and passwords were changed, "effectively taking over the account and locking the previous owner out", and their login information was put up for sale on the dark web.[38]

On March 12, 2020, Vanessa Morrison, who previously served as President of Fox Family and 20th Century Animation, was appointed President of Streaming for Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production and will oversee development and production of Disney+ film content from The Walt Disney Studios for both Disney Live Action and 20th Century Studios.[39] Morrison reports directly to President of Walt Disney Pictures Sean Bailey.[39]

On October 12, 2020, Disney announced a reorganization of their media business with a greater focus on streaming. They are planning to add more content for Disney+ and their other streaming platforms (such as Hulu) in the future.[40]

On December 10, 2020, Disney announced that a year after the launch of Disney+, it had over 86.8 million subscribers.[41] It was later announced that as of January 2, 2021, the platform had over 94.9 million subscribers.[42] In January of the same year, Ricky Strauss, who led Disney Plus’ content curation and marketing efforts, exited the Walt Disney Company.[43]

In March 2021, Disney announced an increase to the streaming service's pricing that would take place on March 26, 2021.[44] In the second quarter of 2021, Disney+ added 8.7 million subscribers.[45]

In August 2021, Disney CEO Bob Chapek hinted that a possible Hulu Disney+ merger could happen in the future to create an all-in-one streaming service on Disney+.[46] He mentioned that Disney might ditch its streaming bundle of Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ eventually. This is similar to the Star brand on Disney+ available in overseas markets outside of the United States.

Content

The service is built around content from Disney's main entertainment studios and film and television library, including Walt Disney Pictures, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Disneynature, Disneytoon Studios, Pixar, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, National Geographic, and select films from 20th Century Studios, Searchlight Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, and Hollywood Pictures.[47] The service will operate alongside Hulu, which Disney gained a controlling stake in following the 21st Century Fox purchase.[48] Bob Iger stated that at launch Disney+ would be focused specifically on family-oriented entertainment (and not carry any R and NC-17 or TV-MA-rated content), and that Hulu would remain oriented towards general entertainment.[25][49][50] Hulu will also host Disney+ as an add-on service.[51]

Content library

It is suggested that Disney+ has approximately 7,000 television episodes and 500 films,[52] including original television series and films from Disney Channel and Freeform, and select titles from 20th Television and ABC Signature.[47][53] New releases from 20th Century Studios (including Blue Sky's Spies in Disguise) will not immediately be available on either Disney+ or Hulu, as the studio has pre-existing output deals with other premium TV/streaming providers (including HBO in the U.S. until 2022,[54] Crave in Canada[55] and Sky in the UK, Ireland, Italy and Germany). Captain Marvel, Dumbo (2019), and Avengers: Endgame became the first theatrically released Disney films to stream exclusively on Disney+ within the pay-cable window.[21]

It was announced that Disney+ would add the first 30 seasons of The Simpsons to the service at launch,[b] as the series' new exclusive home,[56][57] with season 31 being added on October 2, 2020 in the United States.

Iger said that Disney+ will eventually host the entire Disney film library, including films currently in the "Disney Vault". However, he stated that the controversial Song of the South (1946), which has never been released on home video in its entirety in the U.S., will not be released on the service.[58] Walt Disney Animation Studios' 1946 film Make Mine Music is not available on the service, possibly due to a gunfight scene, making it the only film in Disney animated canon not to be included.[59][60] Despite being available at launch, at least five films – Home Alone, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Ice Age and Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties – were removed from the service in the U.S.[61][c]

It was initially unclear whether the first six films of the Star Wars franchise would be available in the United States at the service's launch, as TBS held streaming rights through 2024 as part of its cable rights to the franchise,[63] but in April 2019, it was announced that the films would be available at launch along with The Force Awakens[d] and Rogue One,[66][67] with The Last Jedi added on December 26, 2019; The Rise of Skywalker added on May 4, 2020,[68] and Solo: A Star Wars Story was added on July 10, 2020.[69] On April 2, 2021, several older Star Wars spin-offs were released.[70]

In the United States, most of the films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe were available at launch, with the exception of seven films: Thor: Ragnarok (added on December 5, 2019), Black Panther (added on March 4, 2020), Avengers: Infinity War (added on June 25, 2020), and Ant-Man and the Wasp (added on August 14, 2020), due to existing licensing deals with Netflix; and The Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Spider-Man: Far From Home, which are unavailable because their distribution rights are owned by Universal Pictures (The Incredible Hulk) and Sony Pictures (Spider-Man).[71][72]

Some films were modified by Disney: a post-credits scene from Toy Story 2 was edited out;[73] nudity was eliminated from Splash by adding digital hair, blurring, and cropping certain scenes;[74][e] films such as Adventures in Babysitting, Free Solo, and Hamilton are altered to remove profanities;[f] The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin (1967) was edited to remove racial slurs, and the short film Santa's Workshop (1932) was edited to remove a "stereotypical black doll".[76] Some older content, such as films, animated shorts, and series, have a content disclaimer on the platform noting the possibility of outdated cultural depictions.[78][79][80][81][g] Starting in October 2020, a 12-second content disclaimer informing viewers of racially insensitive scenes plays before some older Disney films – including Peter Pan, Dumbo, Swiss Family Robinson, Lady and the Tramp, The Jungle Book, Aladdin (alongside the two direct-to-video sequels), and The Aristocats.[83][84] Additionally, by January 2021, some of these films were no longer viewable on kids profiles; the titles were still available to view on regular profiles.[85] X-Men: Days of Future Past, which contains both nudity and the word "fuck", began airing uncensored in mid-2020.[86] Some series are missing episodes, including Darkwing Duck, The Little Mermaid, The Proud Family, Phineas and Ferb, Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends,[87][h] The Muppet Show,[88][i] and The Simpsons,[89][b] amongst other programs.[91][j] All episodes featuring Stoney Westmoreland on Andi Mack are banned from the service.[citation needed]

Original scripted content

The service's initial original content goal was planned to include four to five original films and five television shows with budgets from $25–100 million.[50] In January 2019, it was reported that Disney would spend up to $500 million in original content for the service.[93][k] Original series based on Star Wars and Marvel properties have been or are being produced. Original Star Wars series include The Mandalorian,[94] a seventh season of the animated The Clone Wars (and a spin-off series titled The Bad Batch),[95] Obi-Wan Kenobi, Andor, Lando, The Acolyte, as well as three series spun off from The Mandalorian: The Book of Boba Fett, Rangers of the New Republic, and Ahsoka.[96] Original Marvel series include WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, an animated What If series, Ms. Marvel, Hawkeye, Moon Knight, and She-Hulk.[97][98]

In January 2019, Disney+ ordered Diary of a Future President from CBS Television Studios, its first series from an outside production company.[99]

A television series remake of the film High Fidelity was initially announced for Disney+, but in April 2019, it was announced that the project had been moved to Hulu, citing concerns from its staff that the positioning of Disney+ as a family-friendly service was at odds with their creative vision for the series.[100] Love, Victor, a spin-off of the film Love, Simon, was similarly shifted from Disney+ to Hulu in February 2020.[101]

In August 2019, Iger announced that 20th Century Fox films such as Home Alone, Night at the Museum, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and Cheaper by the Dozen will be "'reimagined' for 'a new generation'" exclusively for Disney+[102] by Fox Family.[103]

Original episodic content will be released weekly, opposed to all at once[104] with the release time to be 12:01 a.m. PT on Fridays, starting November 15, 2019 until June 25, 2021 for original series and on Wednesdays starting June 9, 2021 for new original series and new seasons of the respective series.[105][106]

On December 25, 2020, Soul became the first feature-length film from Pixar to be released as a Disney+ original. The next Pixar film, Luca, was also released as a Disney+ original.[107]

In September 2021, it was reported that Disney will begin a new television release strategy by giving episodes from certain series an early premiere on Disney+ ahead of their television debuts. The first series to be released througth this strategy will be The Ghost and Molly McGee, with episodes 3 to 5 being released on Disney+ on October 6, 2021.[108][109]

Original unscripted content

Disney also plans original factual television content for the service, aiming to "find the ethos of Disney in everyday stories, inspiring hope and sparking the curiosity of audiences of all ages." Some of these series will have ties to Disney properties, including behind-the-scenes documentary miniseries focusing on Disney studios (such as one following the production of Frozen II),[97] the Disney-themed competition cooking competition Be Our Chef, Cinema Relics (a documentary series showcasing iconic costume and props from Disney films), Marvel's Hero Project (a series showcasing "inspiring kids [that] have dedicated their lives to selfless acts of bravery and kindness"), and The Imagineering Story (a Leslie Iwerks-directed documentary series chronicling the history and work of Walt Disney Imagineering).[110][111] National Geographic also produced Magic of the Animal Kingdom (a docuseries following the animal caretakers of Disney's Animal Kingdom and Epcot's aquarium) and The World According to Jeff Goldblum.[112]

Disney reached a two-year pact with the documentary studio Supper Club (Brian McGinn, David Gelb and Jason Sterman, producers of Netflix's Chef's Table) to produce content for the service, including the conservation-themed nature documentary series Earthkeepers, and Marvel's 616, a documentary series chronicling the cultural and societal impact of Marvel's characters. Other factual series include Encore! (a Kristen Bell-produced series that reunites casts from high school musical productions to reprise their roles), (Re)Connect (a reality series produced by Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos' Milojo Productions), Rogue Trip (a travel series featuring Bob Woodruff and his son Mack), and the reality competition Shop Class.[110][111]

Premier Access

The live-action adaptation of Mulan was premiered in select countries on Disney+ with Premier Access for a premium fee ($29.99) on September 4, 2020, and later was made available for free to all subscribers on December 4.[113] A second feature film, Raya and the Last Dragon, was offered through the Premier Access model on March 5, 2021, the same day as its theatrical release,[114] and was made available for all users on June 4.[115] In March 2021, Disney announced that Cruella and Black Widow would both release theatrically and through Premier Access.[116] In May 2021, Disney announced that Jungle Cruise would also be released theatrically and through Premier Access.[117]

Third-party content

Disney+ has some select TV series that are not owned, produced and/or distributed neither by Disney nor its subsidiaries, like Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir (from Zagtoon) and PJ Masks (from Hasbro's Entertainment One, who owns the rights of the Power Rangers franchise which Disney owned from 2001 to 2010).[47]

In April 2021, Disney and Sony Pictures reached a multi-year deal to bring Sony's films in the United States to Disney's streaming services. As part of the deal, titles from Sony's library as well as future theatrical releases would become available on Disney's streaming services and linear networks following their first pay window begins in 2023.[118]

Device support and service features

Disney+ is available for streaming via web browsers on PC and Mac, as well as apps on iOS and Apple TV, Android and Android TV, Fire TV and Fire HD, Chromecast and Chromebook devices, Samsung Smart TVs, LG webOS TVs, Vizio SmartCast TVs,[119] Roku devices, Xfinity Flex,[120] Sky Q,[121] Now TV devices,[122] PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Windows 10.[123][124] Content available on Disney+ is also listed in the Apple TV and Google TV apps.[125][126]

Accessibility features include closed captioning, audio description (also known as described video), and audio navigation assistance.[127]

Disney+ allows seven user profiles per account, with the ability to stream on four devices concurrently and unlimited downloads for offline viewing. Content is able to be streamed in resolutions up to 4K Ultra HD in Dolby Vision and HDR10, with Dolby Atmos sound on supported devices. Legacy content and Disney+ originals are available in multiple languages.[128] Subtitles and dubbing are available in up to 16 languages.[129] A substantial amount of content is available in Hindi, Indonesian, Thai, Malay, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Malayalam, Kannada, and Marathi languages on the Indian and select Southeast Asian countries counterpart, Disney+ Hotstar.[130]

In late May 2020, the service added the ability to switch between 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios for early Simpsons episodes,[131] after the service received backlash for stretching those episodes to 16:9 by default at launch.[132] Disney had done this "in order to guarantee visual quality and consistency across all 30 seasons." To accommodate the feature, Disney Streaming Services "had to reconfigure its content-delivery engine" while ensuring the new feature would not break any existing features such as continue watching, watchlists, and auto-playing, as they did not want to treat the 4:3 versions as bonus content. The resulting changes allowed Disney to apply the existing audio, subtitle information, episode artwork, and other metadata from the episodes to both aspect ratios regardless of which is chosen by the user. Joe Rice, vice president of media product at Disney Streaming Services, added that these adjustments "opens up a number of exciting opportunities for novel ways of presenting content in the future."[131]

In September 2020, the service added the GroupWatch feature which allows up to seven different Disney+ accounts to link up and co-view programming with one another. Viewers are able to react to content with six different emojis, and control playback for the entire group. It is available on web browser, mobile app, smart TVs, and connected TV devices in the United States, and will expand to Europe later in 2020.[133] The feature was previously tested in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.[134]

Launch

Disney+ was launched early in the Netherlands on September 12, 2019, as a free trial. It officially launched in the Netherlands, United States and Canada on November 12, 2019, just before 3:00 a.m. EST (UTC–5). Disney+ launched in Australia, New Zealand, and Puerto Rico on November 19, 2019, and launched in Austria, the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Germany, Ireland, and Switzerland on March 24, 2020.[27][135] In the UK and Ireland, Disney+ replaced DisneyLife. In Spain, a linear Disney+ television channel launched alongside the streaming service. The channel is available exclusively on Movistar+, which serves as Disney+'s launch partner in the region.[136]

In December 2019, it was announced that Canal+ would be the exclusive distributor of Disney+ in France.[137] The launch in France was delayed from March 24 to April 7, pursuant to a request from the French government to conserve network capacity due to the COVID-19 pandemic placing additional strain on communications networks.[138]

In February 2020, Iger announced that it planned to launch Disney+ in India on March 29, 2020, by means of its existing service Hotstar, rebranding its paid tiers as a co-branded service. Hotstar was acquired by Disney during the Fox purchase, and has been the dominant streaming service in the country.[139][140] However, it was postponed due to the Indian Premier League being rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[141] It was then launched on April 3, 2020.[142]

In April 2020, it was announced that Disney+ original content would be licensed to pay TV and streaming operator OSN, starting on April 9, in 17 countries in the Middle East and North Africa region with Disney noting that they had no current "plan to launch Disney+ as a standalone service in the region in the near future".[143][144][145] On August 12, Disney announced that it will launch in the Middle East and Africa in Summer 2022.[146][147]

The service launched in Japan on June 11, 2020, as part of Disney's existing partnership with NTT Docomo, and succeeded the existing Disney Deluxe service in the region.[148]

Disney+ launched in Indonesia through Hotstar on September 5, 2020;[149] Portugal, Belgium, Finland, Iceland, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Greenland[150] on September 15, 2020;[151] and in Latin America and the Caribbean on November 17, 2020.[152]

The service expanded to Singapore on February 23, 2021.[153][154] It was announced that the service would also expand to Central and Eastern Europe, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Israel, South Africa, and Turkey later in between 2021 and 2022.[155] Among them, it has been confirmed that the service will launch on November 12, 2021 in South Korea and Taiwan, and on November 16, 2021 in Hong Kong.[156]

Star, Disney+'s brand for general entertainment content, would launch on February 23, 2021, in Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore and is expected to be rolled out to select international markets in the near future, including Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Israel and South Africa.[157][158] Star will add to Disney+ in Japan on October 27, 2021, and will launch along with the service in South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong in November 2021.[159]

On February 25, 2021, it was reported that Disney+ would launch in Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand through Hotstar within 2021.[160][161] It was later confirmed that the launch would take place in Malaysia on June 1, 2021,[162] and Thailand on June 30, 2021.[163]

  Available
  Confirmed launch
  Third-party distribution
  No current launch or announcement
Launch rollout timeline
Release date Country/Territory Release partner(s)
November 12, 2019  Canada None
 Netherlands[l]
 United States Verizon[164]
November 19, 2019[36]  Australia None
 New Zealand
 Puerto Rico
March 24, 2020[165]  Austria
 Germany Telekom[166]
 Ireland[m] Sky[167]
 Italy TIM[168]
 Spain Movistar+[136]
  Switzerland None
 United Kingdom[m] Sky,[167] O2[169]
April 2, 2020[170] Channel Islands None
 Isle of Man
April 3, 2020[142]  India[n] Hotstar
April 7, 2020[138]  France Canal+[137]
April 30, 2020[171][172]  Monaco None
 Wallis and Futuna Canal+ Calédonie[137]
 New Caledonia
French West Indies Canal+ Caraïbes[137]
 French Guiana
June 11, 2020[148]  Japan[o] NTT Docomo[148]
September 5, 2020[149]  Indonesia Hotstar, Telkomsel[173]
September 15, 2020[151]  Belgium None
 Denmark
 Finland
 Greenland
 Iceland
 Luxembourg
 Norway
 Portugal
 Sweden
October 2, 2020[174]  Réunion Canal+ Réunion[137]
 Mayotte Canal+ Mayotte[137]
 Mauritius Canal+ Maurice[137]
November 17, 2020[152]  Argentina Cablevisión[175]
 Bolivia Visa[176]
 Brazil Globoplay, Bradesco, Next, Mercado Livre, Vivo[177][178]
Caribbean[p] Visa[176]
 Chile
 Colombia
 Costa Rica
 Ecuador
 El Salvador
 Guatemala
 Honduras
 Mexico Izzi Telecom, MercadoLibre, Telmex, Telcel[175]
 Nicaragua Visa[176]
 Panama
 Paraguay
 Peru
 Uruguay
 Venezuela None
February 23, 2021[153][154]  Singapore StarHub[179][180]
June 1, 2021[162]  Malaysia Hotstar, Astro
June 30, 2021[163]  Thailand Hotstar, AIS[181]
November 12, 2021[156]  South Korea LG U+[182]
 Taiwan
November 16, 2021[156]  Hong Kong
2022[183]  Philippines Hotstar
Summer 2022[184][185]  Andorra
 Bulgaria
 Czech Republic
 Greece
 Hungary
 Israel[186]
 Liechtenstein
 Poland
 Romania
 Serbia[187]
 South Africa[188]
 Turkey[189]

Reception

Evolution of worldwide subscribers of Disney+[190][191][192][193][194][195][196][197][198]

On November 13, 2019, a day after its launch, Disney announced that the streaming service had already signed up more than 10 million subscribers.[190][199] Disney+ has been well-received, thanks to its affordable price and for the extensive Disney library. Frank Pallotta of CNN stated that "the company [Disney] has repackaged its trove of beloved content for the service makes it a worthy companion to the other services in the marketplace.[200] Nick Pino of TechRadar stated, "If Disney keeps it updated with new content, Disney+ could rival Netflix sooner rather than later."[201]

Upon launch, Disney+ experienced significant technical difficulties. Users complained about receiving error messages that the service was down and that they were "unable to connect", which were irritating because many of them had paid for the service months in advance.[202] In some instances, passwords needed to be reset to enable access.

One other negative aspect with the launch of the service was the presentation of the non-HD episodes of The Simpsons. Namely, that instead of presenting them in their original aspect ratio, they were either cropped to fit 16:9 widescreen televisions or awkwardly stretched out to that aspect ratio.[132] FXX's now-defunct "Simpsons World" streaming service was similarly criticized when it launched.[203] In response, Disney stated they would make the ability to watch the episodes of the first 19 seasons and some from season 20 in either the 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratio in early 2020.[204] The feature was made available on May 28, 2020.[131]

Some have noted that episodes of The Simpsons, X-Men, DuckTales, Phineas and Ferb, Kim Possible, and The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes are presented almost entirely out of order, while some series are missing episodes.[205][89] Others have questioned why an extensive catalog of Disney-owned material is missing from the platform, including older Disney-produced films,[59] Disney Junior titles,[206] Marvel content,[207][208] some Muppets media,[209][i] and the unreleased Star Wars animated comedy series Star Wars Detours.[212] On June 26, 2020, the 2017 DuckTales series had its episodes arranged in the proper order while co-creator of Phineas and Ferb, Jeff "Swampy" Marsh, has stated that they are working on correcting the order of his series.[213]

Disney+ was the top trending Google search term in 2019 in the US.[214] In February 2020, Disney reported that Disney+ had 26.5 million subscribers by the end of 2019, and 28.6 million by February 3, 2020.[191] By April 2020, Disney+ had 50 million paid subscribers, with approximately 8 million of those coming from India.[192] The service had 54.5 million subscribers by May 4,[193][215] 57.5 million subscribers by the end of June, 60.5 million subscribers by August 4,[194] 73.7 million subscribers by September 30,[195] and 86.8 million subscribers as of December 2.[196] In February 2021, Disney reported that Disney+ had 94.9 million subscribers as of January 2, 2021.[216][217] On March 9, 2021, Disney reported that the service had surpassed 100 million paid subscribers but did not say when it had hit the milestone. The company clarified that it would now only be providing subscriber number updates when certain milestones are reached, as opposed to releasing exact numbers each quarter.[218]

In 2020, Apple Inc. named Disney+ the Apple TV App of the Year. It was the second and third most-downloaded free app of the year globally on the iPad and iPhone, respectively. It was also voted the best app of 2020 by Google Play users.[219]

Notes

  1. ^ This figure may include discounted pre-orders which were offered in August and September 2019.[2]
  2. ^ a b "Stark Raving Dad" (1991) is the only Simpsons episode unavailable on Disney+; the episode was pulled from general circulation in March 2019 following renewed sexual abuse allegations against guest star Michael Jackson.[90]
  3. ^ The Home Alone films were restored in November 2020, after fulfilling a contract with HBO.[62]
  4. ^ The rights to The Force Awakens (among various other Disney films) are owned by the premium television network Starz (as they have previously been the first-run pay-TV provider for Walt Disney Studios' releases between 1994 and 2015). In order to sub-license the streaming rights, it was reported that Disney had agreed to provide an advertising placement for Starz at the conclusion of the registration process for Disney+ and ESPN+ on PC and Android platforms, although no further promotions from Starz are seen once sign-up is completed.[64][65]
  5. ^ Similarly, minor cleavage was blurred in Wizards of Waverly Place.[75]
  6. ^ Words like "fuck", "goddamn", and "homo" were censored from Adventures in Babysitting and Free Solo;[76] however, Hamilton retained one instance of "fuck" as that is allowed in a PG-13 film.[77]
  7. ^ An additional notice is displayed for titles containing depictions of tobacco.[82]
  8. ^ One episode featuring Nazi imagery and Nazi agent Red Skull was omitted. Additionally, the series' third episode features a warning about racially insensitive content regarding stereotypes of Asians.[87]
  9. ^ a b All but two The Muppet Show episodes were added on February 19, 2021. Other episodes have been edited, mostly due to music rights issues—with some segments removed, and others restored after being absent from earlier DVD releases.[210][211]
  10. ^ Additionally, the first few episodes of Gravity Falls had the symbol on Grunkle Stan's fez removed.[92]
  11. ^ The Mandalorian alone was expected to cost about $10 million an episode.[21]
  12. ^ The service received a soft launch on September 12, 2019, in the Netherlands.
  13. ^ a b Preceded by DisneyLife
  14. ^ The service was originally to be launched on March 29, but was delayed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.[141]
  15. ^ Preceded by Disney Deluxe
  16. ^ Excluding Cuba and the United States Virgin Islands.

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