Disney is at home on red carpets, but today will be the first time it lavishes the star treatment on a streaming service. The entertainment giant’s two-hour-plus event Thursday will be a deep dive into its plans for Disney Plus, the company’s answer to the Netflix juggernaut. CEO Bob Iger has said Disney Plus is the company’s “biggest priority” for 2019 — and, for perspective, that’s coming the same year Disney closed a $71.3 billion takeover of 21st Century Fox and will premiere Avengers: Endgame, what some speculate is the most expensive movie ever made. The push comes at a time when seemingly every major media property, and some tech giants, are ramping up their own streaming options as consumers increasingly look for alternatives to traditional cable TV. NBCUniversal and HBO-owner WarnerMedia are both building their own streaming services, while Apple is pouring an estimated $2 billion into original shows for its forthcoming service Apple TV Plus. And of course, there’s Netflix, with nearly 140 million paying members worldwide and an estimated $12 billion budget for content this year. Thursday’s event will serve as Disney Plus’ unveiling to the world, and it should go a long way toward filling in the blanks of how Disney will take on Netflix at its own game. We already have a broad sketch of Disney Plus. We know the service will be built and organized around five of Disney’s big properties — Disney proper, Marvel, Lucasfilm (so: Star Wars), Pixar and National Geographic. We… [Read full story]
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