Disney + is not available in countries like the United Kingdom, Japan and more. But why?
Disney + launched in the United States and Canada on November 12th, 2019, and Australia the following Friday, November 15th. Before that, it was released on September 12th, 2019 in New Zealand. We've all waited for something like this, especially us Star Wars fans. We have almost every single movie in the Disney library on here, and there will be more too! But, there's been one issue:
WHERE THE F*CK IS IT IN MOST COUNTRIES?
Good question. I mean, that's totally unfair. On my writing team, I have some writers in the UK (Don't worry, they have LEGALLY watched it) and it was so sad watching their stress and anger with not getting to watch the first ever live-action Star Wars series until the end of March, upon many other things. What's the problem Disney? Why do you show no love to Japan, or Spain? Well, while I have no definitive answer, based off of some SPECULATION from the US release of Disney +, I may have an answer...
Alright, so. As we know, Disney + released with A TON of titles from their franchises like Pixar, Marvel, National Geographic, their own Disney titles and of course, STAR WARS! But a huge chunk from Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars were missing from the library. This noticeable chunk is all available on another streaming service, Netflix. These titles include, but are not limited to, The Last Jedi, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther, Thor: Ragnarok, Coco, The Incredibles 2, Ralph Breaks the Internet, Christopher Robin, and Princess and the Frog. Of course these aren't the ONLY movies and show's missing, some will be added later just because, but the Netflix ones, are not allowed to be on Disney +.
This is because, in the US, Disney is under a contract for the films on Netflix. While the details aren't very well known, what we do know is that Disney is not allowed to put these titles on any other streaming service, due to their partnership. Each title is on it's own contract, the last being Solo: A Star Wars Story which ends in July 2020. So titles like The Last Jedi won't be on Disney + until December 26th, 2019 in the US. This is also why Disney did a 2 month trial in New Zealand, because they were able to include all titles, as they are under no contract there, even Solo and The Last Jedi.
So, with that being said, the UK, Japan, and other regions had it FANTASTIC with streaming services (before Disney +). While all Disney movies were taken off of Netflix in the UK, it is worth mentioning they had titles that the US never had, like The Force Awakens. Another thing that all of Europe has is a streaming service called NOW TV, which has a HUGE majority of Disney's titles. They have a contract with the company that owns NOW TV, called SKY. So, this service has titles like the Original Six Star Wars Movies, The Last Jedi and Solo. They are even still adding titles to it like Captain Marvel and Dumbo. So, they are not even able to access their own titles until March of 2020, and that won't even be all of them. Disney warns that titles will vary in other locations on Disney +.
You may be saying "It's Disney, they can buy out the contract, they have all the money in the world.", the issue is, you would have to get Sky to agree with that, AND Comcast. And the amount they'd have to pay for their titles would be outrageous, considering how much money Disney movies make Sky. This would change the overall price of Disney +. While Disney + is only $6.99 a month, or $69.99 a year in the US, buying these contracts out would probably double the price of that. Disney + is only costing Disney money to make ORIGINAL content, so they have to make money from those exclusive shows (like The Mandalorian) but the other titles have all made their money. If a title flops, it does not hurt Disney. It is costing them nothing to put those titles up. So like Netflix, which starts at $9 for only one screen at a time, is that much because they pay for a majority of their titles. But Disney is able to only charge $6.99 because they have fewer titles that MUST make money.
So, that is why I believe Disney + is not available in other regions. It will be soon though. When you get Disney +, let me just tell you, it is AWESOME.
Thanks for reading! May the force be with you, always.
Star Wars Editor