Disney Plus is getting a makeover at the end of February, with hundreds of new films and TV shows under the title of “Star”. So where are they all coming from? Streaming columnist NICK OVERALL knows…
SINCE 2019, Disney Plus has had the rights to stacks of shows and movies under the 20th Century Fox brand, having bought the behemoth company for a small sum of $US70 billion. Until now, the content hasn’t been made available for watching.
The mouse had instead locked the rights away so that other streaming services can’t grab ’em and pull viewers away from Disney.
However, now they’re emerging from the corporate vault and streamable on Disney Plus by the time the month is out.
A lot of this content isn’t exactly “family friendly”. Take the drama found in the highly popular “Sons of Anarchy”, which follows the trials of a motorcycle gang, or the terror on display in the iconic “Alien” franchise as two examples of the kind of stuff soon to hit the platform.
For that reason one could see why the apparent wholesome family fun zone Disney likes to tout itself as would not run such content in its catalogue.
The solution? Adding a new, separate “folder” on the Disney Plus homepage that, when clicked, gives access to the new content.
This new folder will launch under the title “Star”. Other notable productions that will please many a streamer include “Lost”, “Die Hard”, “24”, “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Family Guy”.
It can, and I suspect for many families most likely will, be locked with parental controls. Just in case mum or dad don’t want the kids stumbling across a bloodthirsty xenomorph with their Saturday morning Froot Loops.
All this new content is set to hit Australia on February 23, but it comes with an added price tag.
Disney Plus will hike up the monthly subscription fee from $8.99 to $11.99, which is likely to be frustrating for many families who use Disney Plus solely for kids’ entertainment. The price jump isn’t optional, either. All users will have to pay for the extra content, even if they don’t watch it.
However, users subscribed before February 23 will get a six-month grace period, with the price not jumping until August.
Disney Plus isn’t the only platform getting a facelift. Stan (owned by the Nine Network) is also picking up new content as it tries to cling to its place in the heated competition.
In a new $100 million, three-year deal, the platform will stream everything Super Rugby.
The Rugby Championship, Bledisloe Cup, Shute Shield and just about every other match falling under the union code will be on the platform, including a collection of historical matches for rugby aficionados.
It’s also got some plans for tennis fans, with Wimbledon and the French Open lined up to be streamable, too.
It’s called “Stan Sport”, and it’s priced at $10 a month. That’s on top of the initial $10, base Stan subscription costs, which users will need to access Stan Sport.
Funny way of saying “$20 a month” to me.
It’s clearly an attempt to compete with Kayo, which for $25 a month allows users to stream a sweeping range of sport.
It’s the pressure of hot competition that’s making services evolve as rapidly as they possibly can. In fact, Disney Plus’ new announcement has been dubbed by many as the “Netflix killer”.
All a bit amusingly ironic, given the one-stop, family fun shop that the “Netflix killer” markets itself as.