Australians will be able to sign up for Disney’s game-changing new streaming service just a week after it is launched in the US and Canada.
Disney Plus, the entertainment giant’s rival to Netflix and Stan, will launch on November 12, and will be available in Australia and New Zealand on November 19.
Late on Monday night, the company revealed its plans by putting a digital countdown on its Australian website.
The Netherlands is the only other country included in the first launch dates. It will also get Disney Plus from November 12.
Australians will be able to stream the latest Star Wars, Marvel and Pixar movies, as well as a host of original content, for $8.99 a month (or $89 a year).
Disney content – including the Marvel pictures – had previously been available on Netflix, but that deal ended abruptly in February.
Original programs will be one of the big selling points of Disney Plus. As the company has already hinted, its Marvel original shows, for example, will be vital for keeping up with storylines that play out on the big screen in cinemas.
Other original shows, such as the live-action, big-budget Star Wars spin-off The Mandalorian, will be available at the service’s launch. Customers will also have access to a vast library of Disney’s and Fox’s legacy content, as well as movies and documentaries.
But the biggest surprise might be Disney Plus’s price. It will cost $US7 for American subscribers – half the price of HBO Now and a big discount compared on Netflix. The cost difference is less marked in Australia, where Netflix starts at $9 a month and Stan is $10.
However, Disney chief financial officer Christine McCarthy has hinted that pricing might rise over the service’s planned two-year rollout. She told CNet the $US7-a-month was an “initial” price.
The November start date also allows Disney Plus to piggyback on marketing for the company’s Disney’s big-budget holiday releases.
Frozen 2 hits US theatres on November 22 (Australia on November 28) and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be released in the US on December 20 (a day after Australia, where it opens on December 19).