When Disney Plus launches in Australia tomorrow, it will be one of the cheapest streaming entertainment services in the country. It will also be the only place to (legally) watch the first live-action Star Wars series, The Mandalorian.
But these aren't the reasons we're excited. Disney Plus has another ace up its sleeve - and it could be the deciding factor that gets you to subscribe.
What movies and TV shows will be available on the Australian version of Disney Plus? It's a question we've all been pondering for weeks. Well, the wait is finally over. Disney Australia just let the mouse out of the bag via an extensive blog post. Here are the chief titles that will be available in Australia on day one!
Back in 2016, Netflix Australia secured the streaming rights to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It was a major coup for the company that doubtlessly compelled thousands of Star Wars fans to join the service.
Fast-forward to the present, and A Force Awakens is no longer on Netflix.
The same thing happened to Rogue One, Doctor Strange, Finding Dory, Captain America: Civil War, Zootopia, Black Panther and countless other movies Netflix doesn't own the rights to. They were all unceremoniously dumped as soon as the licencing rights expired.
This is a recurring problem when it comes to streaming third-party content. Because licencing agreements only last a year or two, your favourite movies are in constant danger of removal. If you've ever searched for a movie on Netflix, Stan or Foxtel only to discover it has disappeared, you know firsthand how frustrating this can be.
Disney's killer hook
Disney Plus is different. Because it only streams content it owns, nothing will ever leave the library. Provided you keep subscribing, everything will be available on-demand, effectively forever. This is huge.
Marvel's Black Panther appeared on US Netflix last month to much jubilation and fanfare. If you're based in Australia, don't bother searching for it - the movie isn't available on the local service. (Boo!)
It means some of the world's most popular franchises finally have a perpetual home. From Star Wars to The Avengers, to Pixar's most beloved movies, it's all available to stream with no expiry date.
Lifehacker Australia reached out to local Disney representative who confirmed this was the case:
As a Disney+ subscriber, if you have downloaded your content, it will never leave the platform.
Personally, we think this boosts Disney+'s value proposition significantly. It's the next best thing to owning the movies on Blu-ray. (And without the frustrations of physical media.)
Of course, the flip side to the above is having less content overall. You can only watch movies and TV shows that Disney owns the rights to, with no third-party content to pad out its library. This helps to explain why Disney Plus is cheaper than its competitors.
With that said, the list of available content is still extensive. In addition to the titles mentioned above, there's also a bunch of Disney animated classics, their live-action adaptations and the entire run of The Simpsons, to name just a few examples. (Again, this content will always be available, not just for a year or two.)
You can see some of the confirmed launch titles here.
We should point out that Disney may change its approach in the future. It could start removing and recycling titles to create the illusion of fresh content, for example. There's also the faint possibility that Disney will sell off some of its IP in the future, which would likely result in those franchises leaving the service.
But for now, the content is here to stay. As long as you download the titles you love, they will never leave the platform. This is something no other streaming service can currently promise.
Disney Plus launches in Australia on November 19 for $8.99 per month.
This week, Disney gave Australians a taste of the content that will be coming to its streaming service, Disney+. It will be available on November 19 and it's bound to shake up Australia's streaming scene in a big way. Here's everything you need to know, including how much it will cost Aussie subscribers.