Most streaming services let you download content, but when that content leaves said service, the downloads leave too. And even when that’s not the case, the downloads might expire. That won’t happen with Disney+. After taking a break from addressing the great national crisis facing us all – whether or not Martin Scorsese likes Marvel movies – Disney big cheese Bob Iger revealed that Disney+ downloads will remain in place as long as you remain a Disney+ subscriber.
During a talk at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit via CNET, Disney’s Bob Iger revealed that Disney+ downloads would remain in place even if the films themselves do not:
“But by and large, almost all of it is there. And if you’re a subscriber, you can download it and put it on a device, and it will stay on the device as long as you continue to subscribe. If you wanted to download 10 classic Disney films that may not have all been available at once before, you can do that, basically fill all of your hard drive on one of your devices, and you or your child can watch wherever they are.”
This is indeed cool news for Disney+ subscribers, but it also asks a big question: why would anything leave the service? I was under the impression that Disney flat-out owns everything they’re putting on this service – that’s kind of the whole point of creating it. With that in mind, why would they be pulling titles off? Usually, when a title leaves a streaming service it’s because the streaming rights have expired. So wouldn’t that imply Disney gets to keep all their titles forever?
Nope! As it turns out, some content on Disney+ won’t be staying forever. As CNET reports, “because of licensing deals struck before Disney crystalized its streaming plan, Disney Plus will lose titles for periods of time. The company hasn’t detailed these library gaps, but at least one of them will move popular movies from 2016 through 2018 off Disney Plus back onto Netflix in about six years.”
But as Iger clarifies, this won’t be a problem if you download these titles – you’ll get to hang onto them, as long as you’re a subscriber. I also can’t help but wonder if Disney will take a “Disney Vault” approach to some titles, and deliberately pull them to drum up more interest – something they’ve been doing with their home video releases for years. But again, even if they do, you’ll be fine as long as you download them.
With less than a month to go before its November 12th launch, Disney+ boasts an impressively large catalog, as well as countless ways to subscribe. From an impressive bundle that includes Hulu and ESPN+ to a surprisingly free offer for early subscribers, the choices are surprisingly numerous. Now, thanks to a new deal the company struck with Verizon, potential Disney+ users are about to have another method for skirting the cost for at least 12 months — so long as they’re already, or about to be, Verizon customers.
According to Variety, Verizon “will begin offering 12 months of the video-streaming service to all new and existing 4G LTE and 5G unlimited wireless customers” on or after November 12th. But wait… there’s more!
Verizon will extend the same offer to new Fios broadband or 5G home wireless internet customers. After the one-year promo pricing expires, Verizon customers will revert to the regular $6.99 monthly subscription price unless they cancel Disney Plus.
The precise business and legal terms of Verizon’s deal with Disney “aren’t being disclosed,” unsurprisingly. While neither side is too willing to get into the details, both companies were happy to discuss their pleasure regarding the deal and Tuesday’s announcement.
In a statement, Verizon’s Hans Vestberg exclaimed, “Giving Verizon customers an unprecedented offer and access to Disney Plus on the platform of their choice is yet another example of our commitment to provide the best premium content available through key partnerships on behalf of our customers.”
“The launch of Disney Plus kicks off a new era of streaming for The Walt Disney Company, bringing nearly a century’s worth of content from our iconic studios to consumers directly,” added Disney’s Kevin Mayer. “We’re excited to share this moment with Verizon and bring Disney Plus to the millions of customers across its award-winning wireless network.”
Disney+ just got a major shot in the arm to its initial subscriber base. Disney and Verizon have announced a new partnership that will see millions offered a free year of the upcoming streaming service. Under the new deal, any existing or new Verizon customers with an unlimited plan will be entitled to 12 months of Disney+ for free. This also extends to Fios broadband or 5G home wireless internet customers.
The offer goes into effect once Disney+ launches on November 12. Considering that Verizon has more than 100 million customers, of which, a reported 50 million are unlimited customers, this could serve as a massive boost to Disney's play in the streaming game right out of the gate. Those who take Verizon up on the offer will get the service free for a year. After that point, the price will shift to the standard $6.99 per month rate, unless the customer opts to cancel instead. Kevin Mayer, chairman of Disney's Direct-to-Consumer and International, had this to say in a statement.
"The launch of Disney Plus kicks off a new era of streaming for The Walt Disney Company, bringing nearly a century's worth of content from our iconic studios to consumers directly. We're excited to share this moment with Verizon and bring Disney Plus to the millions of customers across its award-winning wireless network."
Disney+ is looking to compete in an increasingly crowded streaming landscape that is currently dominated by Netflix, which boasts more than 150 million subscribers worldwide. What Disney has going for it is an attractive price, at $6.99 a month or $69.99 annually, as well as content. This will be the home of Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, Disney Animation, Disney Live-Action, The Simpsons, National Geographic and more. Verizon chief Hans Vestberg had this to say about the deal in a statement.
Related: Rise of Skywalker Teaser Reunites Rey, Finn, Poe & Chewbacca in the Millennium Falcon
"Giving Verizon customers an unprecedented offer and access to Disney Plus on the platform of their choice is yet another example of our commitment to provide the best premium content available through key partnerships on behalf of our customers."
One important detail concerns those who have already pre-ordered a subscription to Disney+, who also happen to have Verizon service. Those in such a position are still eligible for the Verizon deal and the free year can be added to the pre-existing subscription order. For those who took advantage of some of Disney's previous offers, which already heavily discounted the service, this could be the icing on the cake.
This Verizon deal adds yet another advantage in Disney's corner, when compared to other up-and-coming competitors such as Apple TV+, HBO Max and NBC's Peacock. Disney+, at launch, will carry thousands of titles from the studio's past and present, with a wide array of classic movies and TV shows, as well as new originals, such as The Mandalorian and the live-action Lady and the Tramp remake, amongst many others. This news was previously reported by Vareity.
Verizon customers with the carrier's unlimited data plan will get a free year of Disney+, an aggressive move by the streaming service to get the platform on as many screens as possible. The deal, which coincides with the service’s November 12 launch, will include new Fios Home Internet and 5G Home internet customers.
It looks like a win-win for the two companies, according to Dave Heger, a senior equity analyst at Edward Jones. He noted that the partnership would ensure a large number of consumers have guaranteed access to Disney+, which could help bulk up its long-term user base.
“For Verizon, it's a great way to retain existing subscribers and attracting new ones, as there seems to be a lot of interest in Disney+,” Heger said. “For Disney, this mean a huge potential base of subscribers who may at least consider signing up for it, and Disney also wants to be able to show that there has been a rapid and broad acceptance of the product. I think Disney could end up with a pretty good paying userbase for Disney+ at the end of next year when the free year ends.”
That said, Heger warned that the influx of initial Disney+ subscribers, which is already expected to have a strong following at launch, means that the streaming service must ensure it works without a hitch. A solid interface, fast streaming, and a lack of glitches are of paramount importance, according to Heger.
A Verizon spokesperson declined to comment on the financial aspects of the deal, which were not disclosed in the press release. A Disney spokesperson did not return a request for comment.
Regardless, Disney+ is going to have plenty of competition as the streaming market continues to become more crowded. Apple is set to launch its own Apple TV+ streaming service on November 1, and the tech company is also giving the service away to a large number of consumers. The company previously announced that it would gift a year of free Apple TV+ access to customers who purchase most new Apple devices.
With competition from Apple's Apple TV+, WarnerMedia's HBO Max, and NBCUniversal's Peacock looming on the horizon, Disney has announced a variety of deals over the last few months to entice consumers to adopt Disney+ early. Disney announced a Disney+ bundle that would include ESPN+ and the ad-supported version of Hulu in August, and the company also held a short-term promotion where customers that purchased two years of the service would get a third year for free.
Even disregarding the free subscriptions, Disney+ and Apple TV+ will noticeably undercut all the large legacy streaming services, as a subscription to each will cost $6.99 per month or $4.99 per month, respectively.
Although Disney+ will launch with original series such as “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” and highly-anticipated “Star Wars” live-action series “The Mandalorian,” Heger expected the platform's strong library of legacy content to be its strongest selling point, at least for the first year. Though most Disney content has been available on various streaming services over the years, Disney+ will mark the first time most of it has been consolidated on a single platform.
It's unlikely that Verizon had to grapple with AT&T, one of its largest competitors, for the Disney+ deal. AT&T's WarnerMedia is set to launch its own HBO Max streaming service next year, which will directly compete with Disney+, and it's unlikely that Disney would want to partner with one of its streaming rivals.
If you’re a Verizon customer and already signed-up for Disney+, you might want to request a refund. Because Verizon is offering the upcoming Disney streaming service for free for a full year – specifically for 4G LTE and 5G wireless unlimited customers. New Verizon FIOS and 5G Home Internet customers will also qualify for a free year.
Disney and Verizon are teaming up to bring customers a full year of Disney+ for free. If you’re an existing 4G LTE and 5G wireless unlimited customer, or if you’re about to become a new Verizon FIOS and 5G Home Internet customer, you’re in. You can activate your free Disney+ subscription starting on November 12. Unlimited plans cost around $70 per month for a single line or $35 per line for a family of four. Here are some specifics, via USA Today:
As part of the deal, Verizon customers will be able to watch up to four concurrent streams, download content for offline viewing, and create up to seven profiles. Though details haven’t been fully spelled out, customers who want to hold onto Disney after the 12 free months will presumably have to pay regular subscription fees, currently $6.99 a month or $69.99 a year.
Disney+ is Disney’s big new streaming service – a place that will be home to their original movies as well as Marvel and Star Wars content. It’ll also be a dumping ground of sorts for movies they don’t want to release theatrically. It’s all part of their plan to beat Netflix in the streaming wars, and offering deals like this certainly gives them a leg up. It certainly has caught my attention – I was debating whether or not I would sign up for the service, but since I’m a Verizon customer, it looks like a much easier decision.
Giving the service away for free for a year is a good way to get people hooked. One can assume that once the year is up, Verizon customers will be so used to the service that they’ll want to keep using it, and therefore be willing to shell out the cash. Or maybe in a year, the planet will be a lifeless smoking husk and we won’t have to worry about any of this, who knows!
More on Disney+ below.
Launching on November 12, 2019, Disney+ will be the dedicated streaming home for movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and more, together, for the first time. From The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer and International segment, Disney+ will offer ad-free programming with a variety of original feature-length films, documentaries, live-action and animated series and short-form content including series “The Mandalorian,” “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” and films “Lady and the Tramp” and “Noelle.” Alongside unprecedented access to Disney’s incredible library of film and television entertainment and 30 seasons of “The Simpsons” in the U.S., the service will also be the exclusive streaming home for films released by The Walt Disney Studios in 2019 and beyond, including “Captain Marvel,” “Avengers: Endgame,” “Aladdin,” “Toy Story 4,” “The Lion King,” “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil,” “Frozen 2,”and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” The service will launch in select geographic territories, including U.S., Canada, and The Netherlands, followed shortly by Australia and New Zealand, with the expectation to be available in all major markets within the first two-years.
Will we see an Inhumans reboot in the Marvel Cinematic Universe at some point? For now, all we have are rumors on that front, but Anson Mount has just thrown a little bit of fuel on the fire. Mount, for those who perhaps don't recall, played Black Bolt on the short-lived Inhumans TV show, which aired on ABC. Now, Mount has weighed in on the recent reboot rumors.
Anson Mount was recently a guest at the Dallas Fan Days convention. During a panel, the subject of this alleged reboot of Marvel's Inhumans TV show came up. While it's highly unlikely Mount would be involved in any way, he did make it seem, at least based on what he's heard, that something could be brewing in that department. Here's what Anson Mount had to say about it.
"People might not know this, but in the sort of Hollywood trades, there's rumored to be a negotiation going on with Disney+ to reattempt this. And apparently... it's well-known that Vin Diesel has always wanted to play Black Bolt, so there's some kind of negotiations going on."
The MCU will have a much larger presence on the small screen on Disney+. Shows like The Falcon and The Winter Solider, WandaVision, Loki and Hawkeye will be directly connected to the movies to a much stronger degree than Netflix shows such as Daredevil and Luke Cage were. The rumors that have been reported suggest Inhumans will go a similar route and get a small screen reboot for Disney's upcoming streaming service. For his part, Anson Mount wants to see Marvel take another shot at the franchise.
Related: Marvel's Inhumans IMAX Release Date & TV Premiere Announced
"I really want there to be another shot at the Inhumans, and I want it to be successful because I'd love to watch it. And I think it is the most interesting little corner of the Marvel universe, and I think it just has to be done, it has to have the right home, the right tone, and the right vision overall."
The Inhumans have had a long, strange trip so far. Originally, way back in 2014, Marvel Studios announced an Inhumans movie, which would have hit theaters on July 12 of this year. That never happened. Instead, the property was repurposed as an ABC TV series and was being positioned as a prestige, big-budget show. That didn't exactly work out either, as the show was panned by critics upon arrival, didn't draw much of an audience and was scrapped after just one season.
As for the Vin Diesel bit, the actor, who already voices Groot in the MCU, had been hinting at talks to play Black Bolt in the movie. That never materialized, for obvious reasons. Could Diesel circle back to the role when/if this reboot ever does get underway? Time will tell. For now, Phase 4 of the MCU is already fully mapped out and beyond 2021, Phase 5 is already filling up fast. So it could be a while before this reboot does happen, even if it is indeed in the cards. This news was previously reported by Comicbook.com.