Disney to Start Direct-to-Consumer Video Service in the U.K.

  • DisneyLife will feature archived shows, movies and music
  • CEO Iger seeks to tap audiences who don't subscribe to pay TV

Walt Disney Co. is introducing its first standalone streaming service, a video and music product in the U.K. that highlights the media company’s effort to reach viewers outside of the traditional cable TV package.

DisneyLife, which debuts next month, will feature archived Disney Channel shows, Disney and Pixar films, and music, the world’s largest entertainment company said in a statement Wednesday. It will cost 10 pounds ($15.44) a month and be accessible on home computers as well as mobile and tablet devices.

Disney, like other media companies, is adjusting to a shift in consumer viewing, which includes an explosion in online, on-demand TV on services like YouTube and Netflix Inc. The product, which will be available in five languages initially, will be rolled out to other European markets, Disney said in the statement.

“DisneyLife is a great example of our strategy to utilize technology to connect with consumers in more direct and compelling ways, something that only Disney can do,” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert Iger said in the statement.

While Iger has said he believes in the pay-TV bundle, in which cable and satellite distributors sell packages of channels to consumers, he’s also said he’ll consider offering programming directly to customers when appropriate.

DisneyLife will feature Disney Channel shows one year after their release on the cable network, according to the company. Movies will appear after their traditional run in theaters and pay-TV outlets.

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