The Times-Tribune

Disney Plus debuts

Streaming service poised to set standard for other services.

- BY MAE ANDERSON

NEW YORK — Disney will sprinkle its pixie dust on the streaming arena Tuesday, as its Disney Plus service debuts with an arsenal of marquee franchises including Marvel and Star Wars, original series with a built-in fan base and a cheap price to boot.

The $7-a-month commercial-free service is poised to set the standard for other services like Warnermedi­a’s HBO Max and Nbcunivers­al’s Peacock to follow, as major media companies behind hit TV shows and movies seek to siphon the subscripti­on revenue now going to Netflix and other streaming giants.

Disney’s properties speak to its strengths. Besides classic characters such as Snow White and Pinocchio, Disney has Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic — big names that most people would recognize. Disney Plus will also have all 30 past seasons of “The Simpsons.” Original shows include “The Mandaloria­n,” set in the Star Wars universe, and one on the Marvel character Loki.

Melissa Knerr, 26, a criminal defense attorney in Springfiel­d, Missouri, already has Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime and wasn’t sure she wanted to pay for another one. She said she was swayed by Disney Plus’s price tag and its “sheer amount of content.”

“I really love both the Star Wars and Marvel franchises and I grew up watching classic Disney shows and movies so I do think there will be enough content for me,” she said.

Marlina Yates, who works in marketing in Kansas City, said she signed up because of her husband’s enthusiasm about the Star Wars series “The Mandaloria­n” and her daughter’s “love affair with princesses and everything Disney.”

Disney Plus’s $7 a month price is about half of the $13 Netflix charges for its most popular plan, and there are discounts for paying for a full year up front. Disney is also offering a $13 package bundling Disney Plus with two other services it owns, Hulu and ESPN Plus. That’s $5 cheaper than signing up for each one individual­ly.

Everything won’t be available to stream right away, though, as Disney needs to wait for existing deals with rival services to expire. Recent movies missing at launch include the animated Pixar movie “Coco” and the live-action “Beauty and the Beast.”

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