Disney announced it’s launching its own streaming service in 2019, and will pull its movies from Netflix that same year. But this is not Disney’s first streaming service– just the first that will be available to consumers in the U.S. The company is already running an on-demand subscription video service for Disney movies called DisneyLife, which has been live in the U.K. and briefly available in China.
DisneyLife was seen as a way for Disney to experiment with streaming, before a larger public launch. On DisneyLife, consumers pay a small monthly fee. At the time of its launch, a suggestion from The FT was that the platform powering DisneyLife could eventually be repurposed for other streaming services in the future. But DisneyLife is not powered by BAMTech, the streaming infrastructure provider that Disney just effectively took over. With today’s announcement of its $1.58 billion investment, Disney will own 75 percent of BAMTech. BAMTech will power the new Disney streaming service in 2019, as well as next year’s streaming sports service from Disney-owned ESPN.
Today, Disney simply touts that its new service will include the “newest live action and animated movies from Disney and Pixar.” The service will be fleshed out with original programming, too, thanks to what the company says will be increased investments in original movies, TV shows, and other short-form content, the company says.
Also of interest, if Disney does in fact take ideas learned from DisneyLife to build its new service, it could have a live TV component.