The Walt Disney Company on Tuesday confirmed that it will launch its video streaming service Disney+ in the UK and other parts of Western Europe ahead by a week on March 24. The company had earlier scheduled its UK launch on March 31. It is likely that the company decided to make an early launch in a bid to tackle piracy.
The company also confirmed its subscription for the UK and Western Europe market. The launch was much anticipated given the successful launch of the services in the US, Canada and Australia last year. Needless to say, Disney's entry into the European market with Disney+ will further heat up the streaming war.
The big UK launch
Disney had earlier planned to launch Disney+ on March 31 but now will be doing it on March 24. The company on Tuesday said that the service's initial rollout in Europe will cover UK, Ireland, Germany, Italy Spain, France, Switzerland and Austria. Disney+ was launched in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and The Netherlands in November 2019.
The company has also kept its UK pricing same as Netflix's standard definition tier. That said Disney+ will come with a single pricing with no additional costs in the form of other expensive subscription packs. For the UK market, Disney+ will come at a monthly subscription of $7.81 and for the other Western countries for $7.76 per month.
Disney will be launching its streaming services in Belgium, Portugal and other Nordic country later this year. It is likely that Disney decided to make an early launch because it wanted to avoid people watching pirated version of its shows, and wanted to make sure that the launch was ahead of release of The Mandalorian.
Streaming war heats up
Disney's foray into the European market is only going to heat up the already crowded streaming space. Needless to say, the main fight will be with Netflix, which is way ahead in the race. Disney along with its other streaming services like Hulu and ESPN+ serves around 40.3 million viewers in the US, while Netflix alone commands a subscriber base of 60 million.
Besides, other media and tech giants like Apple's Apple TV, HBO's Max and Amazon Prime too are fast trying to capture the growing video streaming market. However, Disney's biggest advantage is its huge library that boasts more than 500 movie titles and over 7,500 television episodes. Moreover, Disney also confirmed on Tuesday that Disney+ will replace its existing service Disneylife in the UK and Ireland which were there since 2015.