Bob Chapek, CEO of the Walt Disney Company and former head of Walt Disney Parks and Experiences, speaks during a media preview of the 2019 D23 Expo in Anaheim, California on August 22, 2019.
Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg via Getty Images
Disney’s streaming service Disney + continues to gain subscribers. On Thursday, the company announced that the platform now has 86.8 million subscribers on its annual investor day. That’s more than the 73 million the company reported at the end of its fourth fiscal quarter.
The company’s shares rose 3% on the news.
The company’s reimagined strategy, which is heavily focused on the long-running Disney + streaming service, is all about “quality over volume,” said Disney chairman and former CEO Bob Iger.
Iger, who left the company nine months ago to focus on content, said “quality has value.”
During the Investor Day presentation, Disney provided insights and updates on its three streaming services, including new shows in the Star Wars universe and a Hulu series in the “Alien” universe.
Here is a breakdown of each:
After rival Warner Bros. announced that it would release 17 films the same day on HBO Max and in theaters the next day, analysts and investors are excited to see how Disney will maneuver through the uncertainty still looming from a global pandemic is.
Kareem Daniel, head of the company’s new media and entertainment sales group, said theatrical releases help build franchises. Something Disney has done well with blockbusters from Marvel and Star Wars over the past decade.
Daniel announced that in Disney + 10 Marvel series, 10 Star Wars series, 15 Disney live action, Disney animation and Pixar series, and 15 Disney live action, Disney animation and Pixar series -Films will be shown.
Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau, the masterminds of “The Mandalorian”, are producing two more series exclusively for Disney + – “The Rangers of the New Republic” and “Ahsoka”.
As previously announced, “Andor” is coming to Disney + in 2022. The 12-episode show follows K-2SO and Cassian Andor from “Rogue One,” and has been dubbed a spy thriller.
The Obi-Wan Kenobi Show, directed by Deborah Chow, takes place 10 years after the events of “Revenge of the Sith”. Lucasfilm director Kathleen Kennedy announced Thursday that Hayden Christensen will repeat his role as Darth Vader alongside Ewan McGregor in the title role.
“Lando,” a series that follows the smooth Lando Calrissian, will also hit Disney + in the years to come. There will also be a show called “The Acolyte” that will take place in the last days of the High Republic. It has been referred to as a “mystery thriller”.
Kennedy also showed footage from Star Wars: The Bad Batch, a show that revolves around characters from a group of clone troops known as Clone Force 99 or Bad Batch from the acclaimed Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series .
The Bad Batch is a collection of unique clones with a genetic variation that sets them apart from the other clone brothers that are part of the clone army. They’re an impressive crew and a fan favorite on the show.
“Star Wars: Visions” is a series of animated short films that celebrate the galaxy through the lens of the world’s top Japanese anime creators, Kennedy said.
Outside the Star Wars universe, Lucasfilm is also creating a series based on the Jim Henson film “Willow” starring Warwick Davis.
The company will simultaneously be releasing the Raya and the Last Dragon animated feature on premium video-on-demand via Disney + and in theaters.
The Mandalorian and the Child in Disney + “The Mandalorian”.
Rebecca Campbell, Disney’s director of international operations and direct customers, said the launch in Latin America was a huge success for the company, and Disney + will be rolled out in Eastern Europe, South Korea and Hong Kong in 2021.
In Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, Star will be integrated into the Disney + app from February 23, 2021. In Europe, Disney is increasing the price to 8.99 euros and the local equivalent in other markets.
Disney + is also adding a “Mature Content Opt-In” feature that allows older viewers to sign up and watch titles such as Logan, Modern Family and Atlanta.
The company announced that it has signed a contract with Comcast to bring Disney + and ESPN + to the cable company’s set-top boxes and platforms, reaching more than 20 million Comcast cable and internet customers.
As of December 2, the company said it had 38.8 million Hulu subscribers, and Hulu + Live TV has 4 million paying subscribers, the fifth largest pay-TV provider overall. The company recently raised the price of the platform from $ 55 to $ 65.
Following the success of films like Palm Springs, Run and Bad Hair, Disney will use 20th Century Studios and Searchlight to create original films exclusively for Hulu.
The platform will also feature a show called “Only Murders in the Building,” starring Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez, and “The Dropout,” a show about Elizabeth Holmes with Kate McKinnon.
There is also a limited series called “Dopesick” starring Michael Keaton, Rosario Dawson and Peter Sarsgaard.
David E. Kelley, the writer of “Big Little Lies” and “Ally McBeal,” directs a show for Hulu called “Nine Perfect Strangers,” starring Nicole Kidman, Melissa McCarthy and Regina Hall.
The streaming platform will also have new seasons of “Ramy”, “The Great” and “The Handmaid’s Tale”.
The Kardashian family, which will end their show “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” after Season 20 in 2021, will join the platform, the company said.
Kris, Kim, Kourtney, Khloe, Kendall, and Kylie will create global content that will be streamed exclusively on Hulu in the United States. This content is expected to be published at the end of 2021.
The FX channel, which has original content on Hulu, has granted “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”, has another four seasons and will have new shows called “The Old Man” starring Jeff Bridges and “Reservation Dogs” by Taika Waititi.
FX will be showing an “Alien” series based on the world of the “Alien” movie franchise. The platform will also have a show called “Shogun” based on the best-selling novel by James Clavell.
On Thursday, the company announced it had 11.5 million ESPN + subscribers.
Disney has signed a contract with the SEC to add the Southeastern Conference to ESPN + from the 2024 season. ABC will also be the home of the Saturday afternoon games in 2024.
The company will also rely on sports betting to target younger audiences.
The platform has also given Steve A. Smith his own ESPN + show and is bringing back “Peyton’s Places” for a second season.
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Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of CNBC.