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Today, Disney launched whats undoubtedly going to be one of the worlds largest digital video streaming services: Disney+.

Over the years, Disney has amassed quite the back catalogue of content, from Disney animated and feature favourites to Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar and National Geographic, and it’s all ready and waiting to be watched. Joining titles previously locked inside Disney’s vault are a slew of Disney+ originals including Star Wars franchise ‘The Mandalorian’ which is sure to be on many weekly watch-lists as the streaming wars begin to take shape.

Apple users can subscribe to the new service by downloading the Disney+ app on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Apple TV. You can sign up and subscribe directly inside the app for $6.99/month or $69.99/year following a 7 day free trial. Disney are also offering an option for customers in the United States to bundle Disney+ with ESPN+ and the ad supported version of Hulu for $12.99/month through disneyplus.com.

It should be noted that signing up directly inside the app will allow you to easily manage your subscription through Apple under account settings, whereas if you created an account on Disney’s website you will be locked to traditional billing, making things a little less convenient.

The overall Disney+ app experience breathes familiarity for Apple TV users whilst meeting and sometimes exceeding expectations set by its competitors. Disney+ on Apple TV offers an easy way to log in via iOS or iPad devices already setup on the same Wi-Fi network. In addition to the standard login option, a pop-up will ask if you would like to login on the requested device, negating the need for authentication codes or account credentials.

Like the majority of modern day video streaming apps, the Disney+ app integrates with Apple’s TV app allowing you to track your watch history and add content to your Up Next queue; with shows adding new episodes as they release to the Watch Now tab. This universal experience allows purchased video and Apple Channel content to be displayed together, offering a one stop shop for the majority of your viewing needs.

Despite Disney and Apple’s long collaborative history, Disney+ isn’t available as an Apple TV Channel, meaning that whilst it’s possible to sign-up to the service and manage your subscription through Apple, you will need to have the Disney+ app installed on your devices in order to view your subscription content. When you select a show in your Up Next queue you will be bumped out to the Disney+ app, offering a second-class experience to the likes of HBO and ShowTime. Despite these shortcomings, subscribers to Disney+ can create up to 7 user profiles per account and enable up to 4 simultaneous streams, with offline downloads available on iOS and iPad devices; including a handy device storage indicator within the apps settings.

After spending a morning trawling through the humongous catalogue of content and a number of hours watching the services early original offerings, it’s clear that Disney are continuing to aim high when it comes to family-friendly entertainment, both in terms of its production and its high-quality streaming distribution. Whilst I already own the majority of Disney content available through iTunes, there’s still plenty here to justify a subscription, with much much more to come.

With Disney 4K, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos finally available on Apple TV outside the USA, the hope is that Disney will now treat previous iTunes purchases to the same stellar presentation as part of Apple’s 4K upgrade program. Here’s hoping for an early Christmas present.

 
 

Disney have today confirmed to the Verge that its upcoming Disney+ subscription service will be made available to Apple customers across Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac.

Integrating its Disney+ TV shows and movies with the Apple TV app’s Up Next feature, users will be able to add content to their queue which will launch the Disney+ app. Whilst this is great news, Disney have yet to commit to Apple channel support for the upcoming service . If they were to, it would allow users to sign up directly from the TV app, share across 6 family members through Family Sharing as-well-as view offline downloads and streams natively within the TV app.

Apple customers will be able to sign up to Disney+ for $6.99 a month through an in-app purchase once Disney+ launches on November 12th in the United States and Canada with the service launching a week later in the Netherlands, New Zealand and Australia . 

Of course with Disney+ working with Apple’s TV app, its possible that Apple Channel support is still being negotiated. Another possible scenario is that some details are being held back for Apple’s iPhone event in September with shared stage time only benefitting Apple and Disney.

Details of a launch in the United Kingdom and Ireland are expected to be revealed shortly following Ofcom’s report revealing Disney Life is set to close.

More Disney+ news is expected shortly at D23.

 
 

DisneyLife, Disney’s streaming service in the UK and Ireland will cease operation following the launch of Disney+ according to a Media Nations UK 2019 Report from the UK’s communications regulator, Ofcom.

DisneyLife launched in the UK and Ireland in 2015, offering subscribers a large selection of classic Disney on demand video along with music and books through its apps on iOS and Apple TV devices for £4.99 per month.

Ofcom’s report states:

“Disney+ is set to launch in the US on 12 November 2019 and then globally shortly after (a UK launch date is yet to be announced at the time of writing). Disney plans to scale up its platform, a strategy supported by the lower price point for the service compared to Netflix’s popular standard tier, at £5.99 per month. DisneyLife will cease operation once Disney+ launches.”

Whilst there has been no official communication from Disney regarding the closure of DisneyLife, Disney CEO Bob Iger commented this week that Disney+ is set to launch in two international markets shortly after Disney+ debuts in the US on November 12th.

Disney have expressed that they expect Disney+ to be available on Apple TV hardware at launch but admit negotiations with Apple are still ongoing.