Owned by The Walt Disney Plus Company, Disney+ is an American subscription video streaming service launched on 12th November 2019. Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, Disney Plus is regulated by President Michael Paull. The platform distributes video content on films and television series produced by Walt Disney Television and The Walt Disney Studios. National Geographic, Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, and Pixar are some famous brands the streaming services produce content for.
Initially, Disney+ was established as domestic service in the U.S. and reached the international space one month after its launch. Besides the said brand name, it also produced content for third-party companies holding Disney’s license.
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Established As Standalone Disney+
Disney+ had an early launch on 12th September 2019 in the Netherlands for a free trial. It officially launched in Canada and United States on 12th November 2019. The launch was made before Disney+’s launch in Australia, Puerto Rico, and New Zealand, which took place on 19th November 2019. In the UK, Austria, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Germany, and Switzerland, it was launched on 24th March 2020.
The platform replaced DisneyLife in Ireland and UK and launched a linear television in Spain. The channel serving as Disney+’s launch partner is available only on Moviestar+.
Later on, Disney+ announced that Canal+ would be the exclusive distributor of the streaming service in France. However, the launch that was about to take place on 24th March 2020 happened on 7th April 2020. The reason was the COVID-19 pandemic straining the communication network worldwide.
In April 2020, The Walt Disney Plus Company announced that to watch the original content of Disney+ from the Disney Plus App, users will have to pay streaming and TV operator OSN from 9th April in North Africa region and 17 countries in the Middle East.
Concerning the decision, the company said they do not have plans yet to launch Disney+ as a standalone streaming service in the upcoming years.
On 11th June 2020, the Walt Disney Plus Company launched Disney+ in Japan in partnership with NTT Docomo and also flourished the old Disney Deluxe service in the region.
After some time, on 15th September 2020, Disney+ extended its streaming service to Greenland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Luxembourg, Iceland, Finland, Belgium, and Portugal, and launched in the Caribbean and Latin America on 17th November 2020.
On 12th August 2021, Disney President Michael Paull announced that the streaming service would launch in Africa and the Middle East in mid-2022. After the announcement, the streaming platform removed all its original content from OSN, which it used to host from April 2020.
It was also declared that the streaming service would soon launch in Hong Kong, Central, and Eastern Europe, South Africa, Israel, South Korea, Turkey, and Taiwan between 2021 and 2022.
However, the platform owners later confirmed its launch on 12th November 2021. In Taiwan and South Korea, it will launch on 16th November 2021. By 2022 and 2023, the streaming service will be available in 50 and 160 countries, respectively.
On 29th March 2022, Disney President Michael Paull stated that on 18th May 2022, we would soon avail of the Disney streaming service in South Africa and on 8th June 2022 in the Middle East and North Africa. Meanwhile, the remaining European countries will receive the streaming service on 14th June 2022, and Israel will have it on 16th June 2022.
The streaming service launch date for the Philippines isn’t revealed yet, but it may arrive by 2022. Reports were that job openings for the streaming platform started in June 2022.
Introducing the Disney Bundle
With the launch of Disney+ as a standalone service in the United States, it was declared that a bundle of Disney+’s ESPN+ and U.S. streaming services, Hulu, would be marketed as The Disney Bundle a $12.99 every month. Later, its prices were raised to $13.99, and different variants were added later.
After some time, Disney announced various bundle options and increased plan rates that were taken into effect from the announcement date. These bundle options are also available in Latin America, incorporating Star+ and Disney+. Whereas, in Brazil, Globoplay’s website, both Globoplay and Disney+’s bundle options were offered to users.
Launched As Disney+ Hotstar
In February 2020, Iger stated that they have plans to launch the streaming service in India on 29th March 2020 through its old service Hotstar’s co-branding service. During the Fox purchase, Disney gained Hotstar and has been the nation’s governing service.
Although, the launch date was postponed following the emergence of a global public health emergency, and the streaming service arrived on 3rd April 2020 in the country. Likewise, through Hotstar only, Disney+ also launched in Indonesia on 5th September 2020.
And this journey continued with multiple launches in Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, respectively.
In June 2022, it was reported that many MENA market users face error messages in the Disney+ app, and subscribers cannot access their accounts. However, upon receiving the user’s complaints, Disney’s technical team soon worked and resolved the issue.
As of now, Disney+ is one of the leading entertainment platforms worldwide, which mainly trends for its stream of Marvel Comics Universe movies and tv series. To date, Disney+ Hotstar has 137.7 million subscribers, which will soon reach 152 million subscribers by the end of this year.
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