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Disney to take on Netflix with launch of video-streaming service in Britain

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Unlike Netflix, Disney Life will have a single app streaming books and music alongside movies and TV shows. The service is said to be priced at a monthly fee of £9.99 – higher than than those of rivals such as Amazon and Netflix.

This is the future, in many respects,” Disney CEO Bob Iger told the Financial Times. “We’re seeing more and more opportunities to reach consumers directly and not through middlemen, and we’re seeing consumers wanting product in different ways.”

The company also owns the rights to all Marvel Studio films and LucasFilm, but these will not feature on the service upon launch. Iger said, however, Disney Life could expand to include these if the service does well.

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It was suggested that the new service would co-exist with existing streaming services and was launching in the UK because of its “many Disney fans”. 

“UK families embrace new technology, and demand more flexible entertainment, and this is supported by superfast broadband connectivity and the proliferation of digital devices in this market,” a spokeswoman said.

According to Mark Mulligan from Midia Research, content companies like Disney are realising that old business models no longer make sense.

He said: “Such companies used to sell programmes to pay TV providers. Now, in the digital era, companies can have a direct relationship with the consumer. Kids’ TV is often a lower priority for pay TV providers because the bills are paid by adults who are more interested in movies and sport. This is Disney saying ‘We think we can do it better’.”

Netflix currently streams a number of Disney films but it is unknown whether the firm will continue to do so or not.

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