In the market for streaming video content, a select group of clear industry leaders have emerged, and it’s been difficult for anyone else to keep up. Netflix, Hulu and Amazon have established their supremacy over the rest of the pack, and for any other hopefuls in the market, breaking into that top group seems just about impossible.
Unless, of course, you’ve got a huge advantage when it comes to producing your own original content. That is most certainly the case for Disney—and according to The Washington Post, the company is working now to develop its own streaming video service, to be called Disney+. The platform is on track for a 2019 launch.
Disney is hoping to repeat the success it’s had with ESPN+, the streaming platform it recently launched for sports fans. With the new service, the company will be focusing not so much on sports, but instead on promoting five of its cornerstone brands—Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel and National Geographic.
Robert Iger, Disney’s chief executive and chairman, is hopeful that this wide range of content can appeal to a large audience.
“We want to superserve the most ardent fans of those five brands,” Iger said. “[The service will be] very elegant and very brand-centric, and add navigational features that don’t exist on other platforms.”
Iger’s aspiration is to compete with the major players in the streaming video space like Netflix. That will obviously be a tall order, but he’s got a strategy in mind: rather than make a “volume play” like Netflix, with its absurd quantity of available titles to watch, Disney is going to focus on quality programming within its established niche. The company hopes to produce high-quality original shows, such as a Loki-centric Marvel series and several new “Star Wars” spin-offs.
In a sense, this model has already proven to work. Disney also focuses on quality niche content with ESPN+, a service that doesn’t air every sporting event but instead focuses on marquee matchups in college basketball, Major League Soccer and UFC. That platform has already drawn over 1 million new subscribers in 2018, and Iger says that’s just the beginning
“We haven’t even really begun marketing it,” he said.