The streaming video on demand (SVOD) market in Australia is already teeming with both paid and free services. But another heavy hitter has now laid down a challenge to the global behemoth of Netflix and looks set to shake things up. The House of Mouse is now officially bringing Disney+ to Australia from 19 November 2019.
We knew Disney and it’s foray into the SVOD market was coming to Australia when they announced back in April during their Investor’s Day that it was planning a global rollout. However we were guessing it probably wasn’t going to be until 2020 at the earliest, so today’s announcement was a shock for many. And adding further surprise is the low price tag.
Launching in Australia and New Zealand on the 19th and charging $8.99AUD / $9.99NZD per month or $89.99AUD / $99.99NZD per year. This sees the streaming service cheaper in comparison to competitors Netflix ($9.99/month entry level) and STAN ($10.00/month). However it sits above Amazon Prime’s $6.99/month service which has also been building in the Australian market. Customers can subscribe to Disney+ directly or via in-app purchase and access it through a variety of methods including iOS, Apple TV, Android TV and phones, Sony Playstation, Microsoft Xbox and Roku devices.
Disney+ will now be the digital streaming home for content from Disney’s vast catalogue including Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and more. And it’s been confirmed that the anticipated series The Mandalorian will be available from the drop, with other titles such as The World According to Jeff Goldblum and High School Musical: The Musical: The Series and Encore! all following soon after. And it will also be the go-to place for all the 2019 releases from the studio, as well as 30 seasons worth of The Simpsons (courtesy of its Fox buyout) not to mention it’s extensive historical back catalogue of Walt Disney Studio work.
There are a couple of points worth noting, the first being that the rollout will happen in the USA, Canada and the Netherlands on the 12th November, a week earlier than Aussies and Kiwis get the service. And interestingly Disney+ will be available bundled along with other streaming services Hulu and ESPN for $12.99USD per month available in the US only. But for such an affordable price, how many will attempt to sneakily VPN and access the American bundle? And will that even work or will Disney have set up their own geoblocking firewall workarounds to prevent that? Lastly, what does this all mean for STAN, especially since they managed to acquire the licensing rights for a large chunk of the Disney catalogue. The most likely (and speculated) scenario here is that they will retain these titles until Disney+ arrives.
Regardless, as a long term Disney fan, I honestly can’t wait to have the streaming service and to see just how far back their catalogue goes. I’m sure there will be content there that I haven’t seen and will now have much easier access to.