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Disney SVOD Service DisneyLife Goes Live in the U.K.

24 Nov, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Walt Disney Co.’s foray into direct-to-consumer subscription streaming video has officially begun in the United Kingdom with DisneyLife going live.

The offers up to six people in a household access to myriad current, catalog Disney TV shows, movies (including Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm), music and audiobooks on portable devices and the TV via Apple AirPlay and Google Chromecast.

Subs also get monthly app access to select content, including currently the Cars 2 World Grand Prix Read and Race video game.

“Disney means something different to every parent and child, and now with DisneyLife we are handing over the keys to them to explore the ever-expanding digital world of Disney — wherever they are and whenever they want,” Paul Brown, GM of DisneyLife UK, said in a statement.

While DisneyLife is limited to the U.K., with plans to expand in Europe, CEO Bob Iger hasn’t ruled out entering the domestic SVOD market, including possible branded "Star Wars" and Marvel OTT platforms.

With Disney’s exclusive pay-TV movie distribution deal with Netflix beginning late next year, many of the company’s signature titles are spoken for going forward. But not next month’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which current pay-TV distributor partner Starz has the domestic rights to.

Netflix reportedly is trying to secure streaming rights to the movie in Latin America.

At the same time, Iger said OTT video provides Disney with a lucrative distribution channel for off-network and original programming and movies.

“We look at Netflix as more friend than foe because they have become an aggressive customer of ours,” he said earlier this month. “Products like Netflix are pretty attractive because they offer up user-friendly, efficient and often times much less expensive way to watch television.”

About the Author: Erik Gruenwedel

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