Tech Drivers

Disney+ will launch in Europe a week earlier than planned

Key Points
  • Disney+ was initially set to launch across parts of Europe on March 31.
  • It will now roll out on March 24 across the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, and Switzerland.
  • Disney also confirmed its European pricing for Disney+, which will cost £5.99/€6.99 per month, or £59.99/€69.99 for a year.
Still from "The Mandalorian" series on Disney's streaming service Disney+.
Disney

Disney announced Tuesday that it will launch its new streaming service Disney+ in the UK and parts of Europe a week earlier than planned.

Disney+ was initially set to launch across parts of Europe on March 31. It will now roll out on March 24 across the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, and Switzerland, the company said in a release. Other European countries, including Belgium, the Nordics, and Portugal, will follow in summer 2020, the company said.

Disney also confirmed its European pricing for Disney+, which will cost £5.99/€6.99 per month, or £59.99/€69.99 for a year. That's the same as Netflix's basic package in Europe. In the U.S., Disney charges $2 less per month than Netflix's basic package.

The news comes as Netflix is set to report its fourth-quarter earnings after the market closes on Tuesday. International subscribers have largely driven Netflix's growth in recent years, with non-U.S. subscribers now accounting for 62% of the total, up from 51% in the same period of 2017 and 36% in 2015.

The expansion of Disney+ beyond the U.S. market threatens to draw users away from Netflix's largest and most rapidly growing audience.

Disney launched its streaming service in November in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and The Netherlands. The service will launch in Latin America in October 2020.

The sector will only become more competitive. Apple's streaming service Apple TV+ launched last year, around the same time as Disney+, kicking off the so-called streaming wars. In the coming months, AT&T's WarnerMedia will launch HBO Max and Comcast's NBCUniversal will roll out Peacock in April.

Disclosure: Comcast owns NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC.

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