After two years of waiting, the streaming service of all things Disney, Disney+ is almost here. The service launches on November 12 and it will have a massive library of content. It will have Disney classics, forgotten gems, random stuff you probably never heard of, and a host of brand new original content exclusive to the service.
We know a great deal about Disney+, but there are some pretty significant things that we don’t know. With Disney+ set to launch in only a matter of hours, here are the questions we still have about the new service.
Where’s the App?
While Disney+ has been set for a November launch since April, Sign-ups for the service began at Disney’s D23 Expo in August. Since then, everybody has been able to sign up for the service. Usernames and passwords have been set, money has been paid, and yet, we have yet to receive the app that we need to actually watch any of it.
While certainly the app isn’t supposed to do anything yet, you’d think it would have been released by now. People will need to download it to their various applicable devices and login. The more time we’re all given to do that, the less chance there is that servers will get bogged down with people just trying to sign in. In addition, if there are any problems with the download and login process, this would give everybody some time to fix it before things actually go live.
When Does Disney+ Go Live?
You’d think this would be a simple enough question to answer, but actually no. While we know that Disney+ is starting up November 12, there are 24 hours in that day, and we don’t know which one the service has picked. There are, after all, time zones to consider, so just believing that the service will go live at midnight doesn’t really work.
In fact, there’s a countdown clock on the Disney+ website that claims the service will go live at 3AM Pacific/6AM Eastern time. That would be great, except that there is a similar countdown clock on the Star Wars website which are set three hours earlier, implying that it the magic hour is Midnight Pacific/3AM Eastern. Even a couple of days ago the clock on the Marvel website was implying the service might not launch until as late as 9AM Eastern before the clock was adjusted, so it looks like there may be some confusion even within Disney.
When Do The Original Shows Arrive?
Again, this feels like an obvious question with an obvious answer, but we simply don’t know that to be true. It’s easy enough to assume that all the original content planned for day one will be there when the service goes live, whenever that will be. But that might not be the case. Disney+ is going for the weekly release schedule rather than dropping everything at once, so if shows have a certain day they’ll arrive like they do on broadcast TV, will they also have a set time?
Even if the first episode of The Mandalorian is going to be there right when everything starts, how about the second episode coming on Friday? Will it arrive at midnight in every timezone? Midnight Eastern time. What if it won’t arrive until 8PM on Friday night? And if that’s the case, does that mean the first episode won’t arrive until 8PM on November 12? I’ll get up early if I need to see it (it’s actually my job) but I’d rather sleep in if I know I can.
What Sort of Content Rotation Will We See?
With most streaming services we see a lot of content rotation. Deals for certain material ends while new deals begin, seeing a cycle of new content coming in while older stuff goes away. With Netflix or Amazon Prime this is normal, but will we see that sort of thing happening with Disney+?
Disney owns everything that is coming to the service so there shouldn’t be any worries about content expiring. Except, that we’ve been told that an existing deal with Netflix will force a few years worth of content back onto that service a few years from now. If there are other similar deals out there, then could we end up seeing significant amounts of content being dropped from Disney+ every month like we do with the other services? Could there be other reasons that Disney might want to pull things off the service now and then? Or, will removals be rare? Are there things I need to watch soon because they might be gone just as quick?
How Much “New” Content Will We Really Be Getting?
Disney’s list of day one releases is pretty significant. There are a few major omissions, like most of the MCU, and a lot of recent films that are still chained to Netflix, but for the most part, we’re getting a lot from day one. Which makes one wonder, similar to the question of how much we’ll be losing from the service now and then, is the question of how much we’ll actually be gaining on a regular basis.
We know that there’s a host of new original material being added to the service, and as those current deals with companies like Starz and Netflix end, the material will get added to Disney+, but in the grand scheme of Disney’s nearly 100 years of animation and live-action, that’s not that much stuff. for all the Disney Channel stuff that we’re getting on day one, there’s still a lot more out there that we’re not seeing at the beginning, and it’s unlikely that’s due to licensing problems. Is the rest of this stuff being held back simply so that Disney has something to add later, or does not seeing it on day one mean we may never see it?
Disney+’s launch can be counted in hours at this point. It’s so close we can all taste it, and yet, I won’t lie, I’m so excited for it that the fact that I don’t have these answers is sort of freaking me out. These are pretty basic things that we would expect to know about any streaming service, especially this close to launch.
Of course, those answers are certainly all coming, and some of them will be very soon. Hopefully very soon, as the more time we have to process them the better.