The new streaming service Disney+ will make its debut on November 12th, and Disney wants to make sure we don't forget about it. We've already been given plenty of details on what to expect from the $6.99/month streaming platform. In addition to just about all the Disney movies (not Song of the South), Disney+ will eventually offer the Star Wars, Pixar, and Marvel libraries; plus, every episode of The Simpsons. And Disney will create new original content from these franchises. Star Wars fans, for instance, are looking forward to The Mandalorian -- a new live action series that will be available when Disney+ launches.
But just in case you didn't already understand how big Disney+ is to the future of streaming entertainment, the company just spent hours on an ultra-long Twitter thread outlining all the shows that would be available on Day One. And they also put together an ad for the service, touting "basically everything" that's coming to the service. That ad... runs 3 hours, 17 minutes, and 50 seconds. Yikes!
Few people will watch the entire ad, maybe not even the people who put it all together. I actually feel sorry for the team that was tasked with doing this, considering almost no one will see the result of their efforts. But they've managed to get some additional buzz for Disney+, even if they didn't put together the longest ad of all time. That distinction goes to Procter & Gamble, which put together a 14-hour(!!) commercial for Old Spice. And a Brazilian TV station actually aired it.
But ultimately, this 3-hour ad is just another way of announcing that Disney is about to become a force in the streaming world. They're also going to allow subscribers to bundle Disney+ with subscriptions to Hulu and ESPN+ for just $12.99/month. While this doesn't include the commercial-free option for Hulu, which means I won't be buying the bundle, it's telling that their $12.99 charge for three services is what Netflix charges for... just Netflix. So if you had to pick just one -- Netflix or the Disney+ bundle -- which would it be? Disney is betting their programming will give them a great shot at winning you over. Especially now that Friends is leaving Netflix for another new streaming service called HBO Max, Big Bang Theory is also going to HBO Max, so that's another splashy entry into the streaming game.
HBO Max plans to be HBO with another layer. So expect to pay HBO prices, and then a bit to get all of HBO plus a bunch of other shows and original content. And then there's Apple TV Plus, which is also planning to launch on November 1st, just a couple of weeks before Disney+. Apple's plan is to charge just $4.99/month, and even give you the service free for a year with the purchase of a new iPhone. They've been on a big marketing push lately, primarily promoting their original shows -- the biggest of which might be The Morning Show, starring Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carell, and Reese Witherspoon.
But the problem for all of us is that these costs are adding up. And if you still have a cable/satellite subscription (like we do, because sports!), then there's a limit to the number of entertainment apps you'll purchase. And once Apple TV Plus, HBO Max and Disney+ join the already established players like Prime Video, Hulu and Netflix, you'd be paying at least as much for just streaming services as you did for cable -- maybe even a bit more. (And I didn't even mention CBS All Access, which our household has for the new Star Trek series). This wasn't quite what we had in mind when cord cutting became a thing, and most of us will be making choices about what we want to watch... and when.