A while ago Disney announced it was pulling titles from Netflix when the contracts become expired, and that it would be launching their own OTT (over the top) streaming service, similar to Netflix, with their exclusive library of titles. Today they finally announced details of this service.
The new service will be called Disney Plus and will be launching on November 12th, 2019 and will be available for $ 6.99/month or $ 69.99/year. When it launches it will be available via an app on Roku and Sony devices, as well as Android and iOS.
Disney also announced that the launch of this service will officially kill off the “vault” program they have implemented for decades, where Disney would pull specific titles from stores for several years. This means that all of the content from Disney’s library should be available via the service, including Classic animated titles, Disney Channel movies and TV shows, and more.
Since Disney also owns a good portion of the most popular entertainment franchises around, including the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Wars, you can be sure that these titles will also be available to stream. Disney also recently purchased 21st Century Fox and owns a majority stake in Hulu. There will very likely be a combination of services between Disney Plus, Hulu and of course ESPN, which is also owned by Disney.
Due to the acquisition of 21st Century Fox, for the first time ever, all 30 seasons of the Simpsons will be available to stream easily from an OTT service like Netflix or Hulu. The series was previously available on an FXX exclusive service.
Not only does Disney have a vast library of titles already at its disposal, but the company is also planning on creating original content for the service as well. Disney plans to release more than 25 original series and 10 new films exclusively on Disney Plus.
When the service was getting ready to be announced I didn’t think I would actually want to subscribe, since I already own all of the Disney Classics, Star Wars, and Marvel movies on Blu-Ray or DVD. This announcement has made me seriously reconsider my previous stance. I think this will quickly become one of the essential subscriptions for most families. Who’s excited for November??
It’s no secret that I love me some Hallmark Channel movies. From Halloween until January 2nd my TV is constantly tuned in to the channel. So, when I cut the cord to our satellite TV subscription years ago, Hallmark Channel was almost a deal breaker for the whole thing. Fortunately for me, last year SlingTV added Hallmark Channel to their lineup, and all was right with the world again.
I’ve kept SlingTV because I really do like the service, but I always try out new streaming services as they become released. I have yet to find one that I like enough to replace SlingTV so far. There are only a few things missing from SlingTV that I would love to have included. One being local network stations, and the other being the Olympic channel. YouTubeTV has local networks in my area (Salt Lake City), as does Hulu’s new Live TV service, but both do not have the Hallmark Channel.
So, when Hallmark Channel announced this month it was releasing its own OTT (over-the-top) streaming channel I was excited at the prospect of what that could mean! I could choose any streaming service I wanted, even if it ends up still being SlingTV, and just use the Hallmark Movies Now app to get my Hallmark Channel fix. Alas, it is not to be, the channel in its current form is terrible.
I subscribed to the channel via my Roku, and loaded it up. I tried to find some of the new Fall Harvest movies that Hallmark has been airing the last couple months, and none are to be found. They don’t even have the great TV series’ like When Calls the Heart or Chesapeake Shores. Sure there are some great movies and TV shows available, but not nearly to the point where I could cancel having the actual channel.
The channel actually takes the place of the old app called Feeln, which offered Hallmark movies. It feels like there is a bigger selection of movies now than when it was called Feeln, but definitely not nearly the amount of movies it should have.
Hallmark also launched a brand new channel to add to its regular channel and the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel called Hallmark Drama. The new channel is currently not available on any streaming service, including SlingTV, but is available through several cable and satellite providers.
I was excited for this service to launch, but am left fairly disappointed. Save your money and stick with a subscription to SlingTV, or DirecTV Now if you want your Hallmark Channel fix.