Bob Iger, chairman and chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Co. (Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg)

Disney+ Will Launch in Asia in Challenge to Netflix

(Bloomberg) -- Walt Disney Co. plans to introduce its new streaming service in Asian markets around the end of this year, bringing a cheaper, family-friendly alternative to Netflix Inc. in the region.

The entertainment giant’s Disney+ service will debut first in North America Nov. 12 at $6.99 a month and will feature kid-friendly programming, including 13 classic animated movies, 21 Pixar features, original series, and material from its Marvel and Star Wars franchises. Eventually, two-thirds of subscribers for the service will be overseas, the company predicted, without giving precise dates or pricing for markets outside the U.S.

Disney+ also will include “The Simpsons,” a show acquired in Disney’s purchase of 21st Century Fox Inc. entertainment assets last month. The company previously had deals with Netflix and others to offer its content, but Disney gave up those partnerships -- and the revenue -- to make its own service more desirable.

The service will also be introduced in European markets later this year, or early 2020.

The look and feel of Disney+ isn’t radically different than Netflix’s design. But Disney is betting that its devoted fan base will find reason to add another streaming service to their budget. The product isn’t Disney’s only streaming platform. It acquired majority-control of the Hulu TV service with the $71 billion Fox deal, and it’s now considering whether to expand that product overseas.

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