Disney has been talking about its plan to create its own Netflix since the summer of 2017, but it’s been short on crucial details.
Now we have them: Disney+ will launch in the US on November 12, for $7 a month. It will have a very large library of old Disney movies and TV shows — crucially, including titles from its Marvel, Pixar, and Star Wars catalog — along with new movies and series made exclusively for the streaming service. It won’t have any ads. And it will allow subscribers to download all of that stuff, and watch it offline, whenever they want.
For comparison: A standard Netflix subscription now costs $13 a month.
Disney saved the crucial pricing and launch date details for the very end of a 2-hour, 45-minute long event aimed at investors.
It spent the rest of the time hammering at one big idea: Disney has a ton of things people already love, multiple brands people watch and trust, and it is willing to bet a lot of money on this plan — both to fund new things and, crucially, to sacrifice money it used to get by selling its old movies and TV shows to distributors like Netflix.
If you want to compare and contrast, Disney’s streaming video announcement today — which featured several trailers promoting new shows and movies, like The Mandalorian, a Star Wars spinoff TV show — was quite different than Apple’s streaming video announcement last month, which featured A-listers like Steven Spielberg talking about new shows, but didn’t show them, and had no mention of pricing or a launch date.
For regular people, who don’t pay attention to corporate launch events, the only thing that will matter is whether they want to pay for Disney+ and ditch other video services, like Netflix and their cable TV subscription, or just add Disney+ to the stuff they are already buying.
Disney would very much like customers to keep paying for cable TV, which accounts for a sizable percentage of the company’s revenue and profits.
But Disney+ is both a near-term attempt to redirect consumer dollars away from services like Netflix, which have been streaming Disney movies and TV shows for years, and a hedge against a future when many more people have cut the cable TV cord, or never signed up for cable TV at all.
Disney told investors it expects to have 60 million to 90 million subscribers worldwide for the service by the end of 2024. Netflix currently has 139 million subs.
Disney’s event still left several unknowns, some of which won’t get answered anytime soon: For instance, does Disney plan on distributing its service via big internet platforms like Amazon and Apple, who are now officially frenemies with the media giant?
And how will Disney bundle its suite of streaming services, which also include Hulu and an ESPN spin-off? (Kevin Mayer, the Disney executive in charge of all of Disney’s streaming services, said the company would likely bundle them in some way, but didn’t say more.)
Still, this is a straightforward proposition for both consumers and investors to ponder: Is $7 a month worth your while to get access to most of Disney’s old stuff, as well as all the new stuff that’s coming to theaters this year (like the upcoming Avengers, Frozen and Star Wars movies), as well as streaming exclusives like a new “High School Musical” series?
Oh, and one more thing: Disney+ will also feature shows and movies that previously belonged to 21st Century Fox, which Disney mostly absorbed this year. That means the service will also be the place to watch The Simpsons, for starters.
One thing’s for sure, the studio’s thrown down the gauntlet for everyone who wants consumers to pay up for their own streaming video, from Apple, to Netflix, to AT&T — which will launch its own streaming service by the end of this year.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.