While Disney has been dropping little hints of what fans can expect from their upcoming Direct-to-consumer streaming service, many elements still remain a mystery. For example, a launch date other than “2019” has yet to be announced, along with subscription pricing, possible tiers/levels of subscription, number of user and/or screens that will be included with each subscription, if consumers will have monthly and/or yearly payment options, and the list goes on.
- In a piece in the New York Times, author Brooks Barnes believes that the success or failure of the Disney’s streaming service endeavor lies in the hands of Ricky Strauss.
- Back in June, Disney announced that Ricky Strauss had been named President, Content and Marketing of Disney’s Streaming Video On Demand service. Prior to taking on this role, Strauss was President of Marketing.
- Strauss has been with Disney since 2012 and has over 25 years experience in the industry having worked at TriStar Pictures, Columbia Pictures, and eventually as president at Participant Media.
- In the six years he’s been at Disney, Strauss has overseen the marketing behind films such as Black Panther, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Beauty and the Beast, and Inside Out.
What we know:
Since the announcement of the streaming service, Disney has slowly shared details about the show and movies that are being developed or are in production.
- Disney’s DTC streaming service is set to launch in 2019 and will feature Disney made shows and film that will be available exclusively through the service. Along with Disney’s new original content, the plan is to offer a catalogue of films and TV shows from multiple Disney properties including, Disney, Star Wars, and Marvel.
- The live-action Star Wars series that’s currently being developed by Jon Favreau, will cost about $100 million to produce 10 episodes.
- There are currently at least nine movies in production or advanced development, with budgets ranging from $20 million to $60 million, with most series costing between $25 million to $35 million.
- Remakes of The Sword in the Stone, Lady and the Tramp, and Three Men and a Baby are in the works.
- Other films include The Paper Magician, Noelle, Stargirl, Togo, Don Quixote, and Timmy Failure.
- Disney is planning spinoff series of popular franchises like High School Musical and Monsters Inc. Even the Muppets might be getting a new series.
- The return of Star Wars: The Clone Wars was announced at this year’s Comic-Con to a very excited and enthusiastic audience. The new season(s) will be available exclusively on the streaming service.
What they’re saying:
- Ricky Strauss: “To be successful in making content, you need to have a marketing lens on everything you do — who are the people you are driving toward? At the same time, I love great stories. I’m very intellectually curious.”
- Ricky Strauss on what he wanted to communicate to Hollywood’s creative community: “There’s a big, big opportunity for storytellers inside and outside of Disney to help us. I do believe that this is the future, which is one reason I wanted the job.”
- Jon Favreau on developing a live-action Star Wars show: “Star Wars is a big world, and Disney’s new streaming service affords a wonderful opportunity to tell stories that stretch out over multiple chapters. [Re: Mr. Strauss] Marketing is about telling a story, and his background in that area allows us to collaborate and create new content.”
- Kevin Mayer, chairman of Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International on Ricky Strauss experience: “[He has] an astute awareness of how audiences connect with the Disney brand.”