(Pocket-lint) - Disney+ is Disney's answer to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, but with a difference: It's the exclusive home to shows and movies from the studio, including Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, and National Geographic. In Europe, subscribers can also get access to Star.
Disney+ is available in many countries and locations, including both the UK and US and across Europe, including Portugal, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark - a full list of countries is below. Here is everything you need to know about Disney+, including price, shows, and forthcoming releases.
What is Disney+?
Disney+ is a video streaming service. You can access it on multiple devices, including mobile phones, tablets, smart TVs, and set-top boxes. It costs a monthly fee for complete access. First touted back in 2017, Disney sees it as a "big strategic shift" for the company, with its extensive library of content, including Marvel and Star Wars titles. These have generally disappeared from Netflix and other services in order to be exclusive to Disney+.
Disney+ offers shows and movies in up to 4K HDR (Dolby Vision) and up to Dolby Atmos audio. It also includes support for four simultaneous streams and the ability to set-up profiles for family members. There are also parental controls to restrict content depending on age - like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
Disney+ also boasts offline viewing as you'd expect, so you can download shows onto a mobile device and watch on the go.
The interface is simple and reminiscent of a mixture of Apple TV and Netflix. There's a preview screen on the top third of the TV app, while the bottom has several rows with rectangle content icons. The first row serves up all of Disney's brands: Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic. Subsequent rows are for recommended content, new TV series or movies, and genres. It supports profiles, so different family members can have their content.
What TV shows and movies can you watch on Disney+?
Marvel Studios films and shows, as well as the Star Wars franchises, are all exclusive to Disney+.
The streaming service also has Pixar titles, Disney animated classics from the Disney Vault, over 500 films from the Disney library, Disney Channel movies, and around 7,000 TV shows from Disney itself, the Disney-owned Fox, and National Geographic. Plus, some obviously hasn't come out yet (more on that here).
At Investor Day 2020, Disney said its streaming service will be getting a ton of new content, including “roughly” 10 Star Wars series, 10 Marvel series, and 15 Disney live-action, Disney Animation, and Pixar series. Fifteen Disney live-action, Disney Animation, and Pixar feature films are also coming to Disney+.
In fact, Disney said we can expect hundreds more live-action and animated titles - from across its brands and franchises - to come to the service over the next few years. At the moment, it's set a schedule of over 100 new movies and shows to premiere on the service every year.
Disney+ plans to integrate Star into the streaming service - but outside the US.
This will see the addition of adult-oriented content, such as shows like Family Guy and films like Kingsman: The Golden Circle. Star will only be available for subscribers outside the US because Disney currently uses Hulu to deliver most of this content in the US. Disney also announced expanded parental controls to ensure the streaming service stays appropriate for all ages.
The addition of Star will see the price of a Disney+ rise to €8.99. It will launch on the streaming service from 23 February 2021 in continental Europe. It will come to Latin America, Japan, and Korea later in 2021.
How to watch Disney+
Disney+ apps are available to download from app stores across a wide range of hardware, including smart TVs, tablets, smartphones, streaming devices, game consoles, even desktop web browsers. Here's a list of confirmed devices:
- Amazon Fire TV
- Android mobile devices
- Android TV (including Philips)
- Apple TV (tvOS)
- Desktop web browsers
- iPad (iPadOS)
- iPhone (iOS)
- LG Smart TVs (nearly 900 models)
- PlayStation 4
- Roku streaming devices
- Roku TV
- Samsung Smart TVs (from 2016 onwards)
- Xbox One
Viewers in the UK can also add Disney+ to their Sky Q boxes - and subscribe through a Sky TV account. Now TV devices support the Disney+ app too.
Where is Disney+ available?
Disney+ is currently available in the following countries and locations:
- Channel Islands
- Isle of Man
- New Zealand
- Puerto Rico
- United Kingdom
- United States
How much is Disney+?
As of December 2020, Disney+ costs $6.99 per month in the US, £5.99 a month in the UK. A yearly subscription costs $69.99/£59.99. Disney also bundles all its subscription services in the States - including Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu - for just $12.99 a month.
In Canada, the service costs $8.99 (Canadian) per month (or $89.99 per year). In Central Europe, the price is €6.99 per month (or €69.99 per year). Subscribers in India are charged 1,499 rupees per month. That's for Disney+Hotstar - a combined service.
There are hundreds of new movies and shows coming to Disney+ over the next few years. All that new content for Disney+, of course, comes at a cost. As of March 2021, Disney+ will increase $1 to $7.99 per month in the US. In Europe, the addition of Star will see the price of Disney+ rise to €8.99, from 23 February 2021 in continental Europe. The new pricing will come to Latin America, Japan, and Korea later in 2021.
Disney also announced a new bundle in the US for its streaming services. It consists of Disney+, ad-free Hulu, and ESPN+ for $18.99. That's a six-dollar increase over the company’s existing $12.99 streaming bundle that includes Hulu with ads. But the price increase is the difference between the standalone version of Hulu’s service with ads and the ad-free version.
When bought separately, Disney+ is $6.99 per month, ESPN+ is $5.99 per month), and Hulu without ads is $11.99 per month.
The new bundle should launch in January 2021.