Disney has been hard at work preparing for the launch of their streaming service Disney+. Last month we learned a little about their content plans, in particular, that they would offer licensed content in addition to their own. This week, more information about the type and amount of content that Disney+ will offer was made public, in the form of a report about an investor meeting. According to CEO Bob Iger,
The service, which I mentioned earlier is going to launch later in the year, is going to combine what we call library product, movies, and television, with a lot of original product as well, movies and television. And at some point fairly soon after launch it will house the entire Disney motion picture library, so the movies that you speak of that traditionally have been kept in a "vault" and brought out basically every few years will be on the service. And then, of course, we're producing a number of original movies and original television shows as well that will be Disney-branded.
This is a massive shift in the way Disney handles its back catalog. Traditionally, older films were made available for short periods of time and, once they were sold through, they would disappear again for several years. The shift in strategy, making all Disney properties available for exclusive streaming on Disney+, means that the idea of "The Vault" will come to an end. That's not to say that the actual, real-life vault will be retired, however, as that is actually where the films are stored and protected.
The end of the virtual vault will certainly make the value of Disney+ significantly higher. Being able to watch your favorite Disney animated classic, say Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, without having to sit through the 7 year waiting period, will drive a lot of subscriptions. Add to that the inclusion of new films, such as Captain Marvel, which will release for streaming late this year, and Disney might just have a winner on its hands.
A release date has not been set for the platform, but Iger once again confirmed: "later in the year."