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Disney+ to Launch ‘Always-On’ Channels

Photo by Thibault Penin via Unsplash

Disney+ to Launch ‘Always-On’ Channels

By Movieguide® Contributor

To keep engagement high on its platform, Disney+ is launching always-on channels dedicated to certain topics like Star Wars or Marvel.

This introduction would help consumers who can’t decide what they want to watch, allowing them to turn on one of the channels without having to worry about choosing what to watch next after an episode ends.

Though access to these channels would still require a Disney+ account, it is predicted that these channels would likely feature ads. If that were the case, they would perfectly mirror the product of free ad-supported TV (FAST) platforms like Pluto or Tubi.

While the appeal of streaming when it first launched was the ability to watch shows you choose at any time, many consumers have grown weary of making that decision every time they open up a streaming service. This has led to the rise of FAST networks, which take this choice away, to viewers’ relief.

Over 1,500 FAST channels currently exist. However, experts believe the industry is on the verge of a bubble, and within the next year, that number will drop to under 1,000. This would be a positive for the industry as the ballooned number brings the burden of choice back into the equation. A 33% drop in the industry would actually help the industry by returning to a model that combats the problem it was originally created to resolve.

The introduction of always-on channels is part of an initiative by Disney to reinvigorate its streaming platform. Though Disney+ launched with incredible success and at its peak was second only to Netflix in terms of subscriber numbers, consumers have grown skeptical of the platform and have begun to unsubscribe in mass.

Disney has gone all in on the streaming model and needs Disney+ to prosper, leading to numerous changes on the site. Earlier this year, the company announced it would be combining Disney+ and Hulu into a single app, though Hulu could still be accessed separately from a Disney+ subscription. The company also plans to launch a new ESPN app, further distancing itself from cable and broadcast TV.

Movieguide® previously reported:

Disney is rolling out a new bundle for its two most popular services, merging Hulu and Disney+ into a single streaming app.

“While we continue to offer Disney Plus, Hulu and ESPN Plus as standalone options, this is a logical progression of our DTC [direct-to-consumer] offerings that will provide greater opportunities for advertisers while giving bundle subscribers access to more robust and streamlined content, resulting in greater audience engagement and ultimately leading to a more unified streaming experience,” said Disney CEO Bob Iger during the company’s Q2 2023 earnings report.

The app has since been in a beta testing period. However, it is expected to become available at large next month. The combination of the platforms comes as Disney buys out Comcast’s 33% stake in Hulu, making Disney the sole owner of the service.

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Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.


4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

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