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Disney+ Will Highlight Brands That Make Up New Service

Content on the new Disney+ app will range from Star Wars to The Simpsons and include 25 new original series and 10 movies produced specifically for the streaming service.

Kevin Mayer, the executive in charge of Disney’s Direct-to-Consumer and International division, speaking at Disney’s Investor Meeting to lay out the company’s streaming strategy, said that subscribers will be able to download all of the programming on Disney+ on an unlimited basis as long as they remain subscribers.

Disney has struck deals with Roku and PlayStation that will give the app prominent placement, and the company is working to make agreements with other connected-device and smart-TV makers.

At the meeting, Mayer provide a first look at what the app will look like. At the top, it features a carousel that rotates among new and noteworthy content available on Disney Plus.

Below that are five tiles for each of the major brands represented on the app--Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic. Each tile gets animated when the user hovers over them.

“The brands have been brought together for the first time in one deeply engaging experience,” Mayer said.

Clicking on a tile takes the user to a unique experience for that brand, including links to movies, series, original content and shorts. Each piece of content has its own landing page, with information about the movie or show.

Viewers will also be able to Discover content via search, or under headings including Originals, TV and Movies.

The app will also have personalization and users will be able to select their favorite Disney characters as their avatar.

At launch, Disney+ will have more than 25 original series and 10 original films and documentaries. It will also have about 7,500 episodes of TV shows on and off the air currently plus more than 100 recent movie titles and 400 library movie titles.

By year five, the service will be offering more than 50 episodic series, more than 10 movies and specials; it will have about 10,000 past episodes of shows on and off the air, 120 recent movie titles and 500 library movie titles.

Some of the non-original content includes the long-running Fox series The Simpsons, with all 30 episodes available the day Disney+ launches, the vintage Fox series Malcolm in the Middle and films including The Sound of Music and The Princess Bride.

Disney, which had previously sold the rights to the original Star Wars trilogy to Turner, has bought back rights to stream the movies on Disney+.

Disney had previously announced a number of original series being produced for Disney+ including scripted Star Wars series The Mandalorian, an exclusive new season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, the untitled Cassian Andor series starring Diego Luna and Alan Tudyk, the Marvel Studios series Loki starring Tom Hiddleston, Monsters at Work, Diary of a Female President, and live-action films Lady and the Tramp, Noelle, Togo,Timmy Failure and Stargirl.

Nonfiction series also announced earlier include Be Our Chef, Cinema Relics: Iconic Art of the Movies (wt), Earthkeepers (wt), Encore!, the untitled Walt Disney Imagineering documentary series, Marvel’s 616, Marvel’s Hero Project, (Re)Connect, Rogue Trip and Shop Class (wt).

Original programming from  Marvel for Disney+ announced Thursday included:

  • The Falcon and The Winter Soldier live-action series with Anthony Mackie returning as Falcon and Sebastian Stan reprising his role as Winter Soldier
  • WandaVision, alive-action series with Elizabeth Olsen returning as Wanda Maximoff and Paul Bettany reprising his role as The Vision
  • Marvel’s What If…?, the first animated series from Marvel Studios, taking inspiration from the comic books of the same name. Each episode will explore a pivotal moment from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and turn it on its head, leading the audience into uncharted territory:

From the Walt Disney Animation Studios:

  • Into the Unknown: Making Frozen 2 documentary series showing the hard work and imagination that go into making one of the most highly-anticipated Walt Disney Animation Studios features

from Pixar Animation Studios:

  • Toy Story-based projects, Forky Asks a Question animated short series and Lamp Life short film featuring Little Bo Peep.

From National Geographic:

  • The World According to Jeff Goldblum documentary series where the actor pulls back the curtain on a seemingly familiar object to reveal a world of astonishing connections, fascinating science, and a whole lot of big ideas
  • Magic of the Animal Kingdom documentary series which takes viewers behind the scenes with the highly respected animal-care experts, veterinarians, and biologists at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Epcot’s SeaBase aquarium

From Disney Television Animation:

  • The Phineas and Ferb Movie (working title) animated film featuring many of the original voice cast

Mayer said the app should have a broad “four quadrant” appeal attracting customers young and old, male and female. The Disney brand, he noted has 95% familiarity and 1 billion people who identify as true fans with a strong or very strong relationship with the brands.

Promotion at first will aim to tease the service, then drive awareness and interest pre-launch, said Ricky Strauss, president of content and marketing for Disney+. At launch it will promote the brands and content involved,

The campaign will use all of the touch points across Disney, from social media to data-driven performance media, from the parks to the resorts and all of the company’s television networks and Hulu, to reach 100 million households.

“There is no bigger priority for our company going forward,” Strauss said. “This will be synergy campaign that is unprecedented in the history of the Walt Disney Co.”