Disney will launch its own standalone streaming service in the US later this year.

Disney+ will encompass all the shows, films and exclusive content from a wide variety of Disney properties and studios, including Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel. All available to stream on multiple devices for a low monthly fee.

Here then is everything you need to know about Disney+.

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Disney+: What's the story so far?

Disney's CEO, Bob Iger, first revealed in 2017 that Disney is developing a standalone streaming service to directly compete with Netflix. As a result, Disney's extensive library of content, including Marvel and Star Wars titles, are gradually being pulled from Netflix.

Taking control of streaming is a "big strategic shift" for Disney, Iger explained.

Iger also revealed that the upcoming streaming service would be Disney-branded and carry the Disney name, and that the majority of the content on the platform will be Disney original series appropriate for all ages. Although a report from Variety claimed Disney has been internally calling its streaming service "Disney Play", Disney officially announced in November 2018 that it would be called "Disney+".

More recently, during an investors day presentation in April 2019, company executive Kevin Mayar revealed many more details about the service, including price and release date. 

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Disney+: Which films and shows will it offer?

Treasure trove of content

When Iger announced Disney's standalone streaming service, he also confirmed Marvel and Star Wars titles will become exclusive to the platform: "I have described a very rich, treasure trove of content for this app," he said, according to CNBC. "We're going to launch big, and we're going to launch hot... We’ve now decided we will put the Marvel and Star Wars movies on this app as well."

It was previously reported that Disney would launch its streaming service with "500 films from the Disney library... in addition to around 7,000 episodes of Disney TV." In comparison, Netflix had 4,335 movies and 1,197 TV series in 2016 and undoubtedly has an even greater selection now.

Disney original movies and series

Disney's CEO said the new service will have up to five original series, three or four exclusive Disney movies, plus Disney's entire TV catalogue.

Disney later specifically confirmed it is working on an animated Monsters Inc show, as well as a 10-episode docu-series based on High School Musical, with Joshua Bassett in the lead role of Ricky. A Mighty Ducks show is also in the works, with Mighty Ducks screenwriter Steven Brill and original producer Jordan Kerner both on board.

Another show, called High Fidelity, is expected. It's a re-imagining of the Nick Hornby novel and 2000 John Cusack movie adaptation, but from a female point of view. And finally, in terms of shows, there will be Ink & Paint, an eight-episode documentary series.

As for original films, Disney is in post-production on two projects: Magic Camp and Noelle. It's also in production on a live-action adaptation of Lady and the Tramp, Stargirl, Timmy Failure, and Togo. And it's in development on a new Three Men and a Baby, Don Quixote, Father of the Bride, Flora & Ulysses, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, The Paper Magician, The Parent Trap, Peter Pan, and The Sword in the Stone.

In a statement, Disney said consumers can expect its upcoming streaming service to include new Disney films and other movies from the Disney library, too. One of those will be Frozen 2, to hit the platform after its theatrical release.

Disney Channel, Disney Junior, and Disney XD programming is also expected.

Marvel movies

While many existing Marvel Entertainments films appear on different streaming services, Iger announced during an early 2019 investors call that Captain Marvel will be the first from the studio to be exclusive to the platform. It will not appear on any other streaming service after its theatrical release.

It is then expected that all subsequent Marvel films, including Avengers: Endgame, will also be exclusives to Disney+.

Marvel shows

Disney confirmed it is working on a new TV show based around Marvel Cinematic Universe characters. It will be a live-action show based on Loki, with actor Tom Hiddleston reprising his role. More shows based on Marvel Studios characters, including WandaVision, starring the Scarlet Witch and Vision from the Avengers, plus a Falcon and Winter Soldier team-up series are also expected. The respective movie actors will return to reprise their roles.

It has not yet been revealed if Disney+ will resurrect shows that have officially ended on Netflix, such as Daredevil and Luke Cage.

Star Wars shows

The Last Jedi's director, Rian Johnson, will get his own Star Wars trilogy, and Disney is planning a live-action Star Wars television show called The Mandalorian. Executive produced by Jon Favreau, this will be set after the fall of the Empire and before the First Order. It tells the story of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy.

Dave Filoni, Deborah Chow, Rick Famuyiwa, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Taika Waititi are directing episodes of The Mandalorian. A second Star Wars spin-off will see Diego Luna reprise his role as Cassian Andor. This live-action show will be set before Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Finally, Disney is lining up a new season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Third-party content

As Disney has purchased 21st Century Fox, it has obtained the rights to films like the X-Men franchise and TV series like Futurama. Disney hasn't commented on whether either will make it to Disney+, but it has now revealed that every season of The Simpsons will appear on the platform.

Iger also said Disney is not ruling out licensing third-party content, so long as "the product fits within the Disney brand". Nothing R-rated will be carried, therefore.

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Disney+: Which devices will support it?

Device support was detailed during the April investors day presentation. Disney said that Disney+ apps will be available for a wide range of hardware, including smart TVs, web browsers, tablets, smartphones, streaming devices and game consoles.

A few brands were mentioned, including Sony for its Bravia TVs, Roku and PlayStation for PS4 support.

Disney+: How much will it cost?

Pricing was also announced in April 2019, during the investors day keynote. Disney+ will cost $6.99 per month in the US, considerably cheaper than its main rival Netflix, which starts at $8.99 for the basic, non-HD plan.

A yearly, one-off subscription to Disney+ will cost a discounted $69.99.

Prices for the UK and other regions are yet to be revealed.

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Disney+: When is it launching?

Disney+ will be available in the US from 12 November 2019.

There is no word yet on other regions, including the UK. The BBC's US tech correspondent Dave Lee suggested in a tweet that the global rollout will be gradual and could take up to four years. The UK and Western Europe will be next though, possibly early 2020.

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Disney+: Features and design

Several screengrabs and features were revealed during the April investors day presentation.

The service will offer shows and movies in up to 4K HDR, depending on your TV or device. It will also include the ability to set-up profiles for each family member, with parental controls to restrict content depending on the age of the viewer.

Like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ will also have offline viewing. You will be able to download different shows and movies onto a mobile device to watch when not connected to the internet.

Profiles, parental controls and offline viewing are all features also sported by the UK's DisneyLife service, which has been running for a few years. The look of Disney+ also owes much to DisneyLife.

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What about DisneyLife?

Speaking of which, it is unclear how this will affect DisneyLife in the UK. It is different in that it not only offers a child-friendly selection of the studio's movies and TV shows on demand but gives access to an extensive library of eBooks, audio books and music.

A subscription costs £4.99 per month. But as there are no plans to launch DisneyLife outside of Europe, there is a strong belief that it will just be integrated into Disney+ in future.