Disney CEO says Disney+ likely coming to Apple TV, intends to stay on Apple board

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited April 12
Following Disney's announcement regarding pricing and availability of its Disney+ streaming service, CEO Bob Iger elaborated on the upcoming release, saying the company plans to offer the product on Apple TV.

Bob Iger
Disney CEO Bob Iger.


Iger revealed the launch strategy in an interview with Bloomberg shortly after he and other Disney executives revealed plans for Disney+ during an investor event at the company's California headquarters.

At the keynote, Disney specifically mentioned deals with Roku and Sony that will deliver Disney+ to set-top boxes, smart TVs and PlayStation devices, but failed to present an exhaustive list of platforms that will support the Disney+ app. Iger clarified the issue in the interview.

"The app will in all likelihood be available through traditional app distributors, Apple being one of them," Iger said. "So I'm fairly certain that if people want to buy the app -- sorry, subscribe to the app is probably a better way to put it -- they'll be able to do so through Apple and the iTunes Store."

While not an explicit admission that Disney+ will be made available on Apple TV as a tvOS app, the statement suggests Disney has no issue with marketing the service on Apple's branded set-top box. Doing so would subject Disney to Apple's customary 30% revenue sharing scheme (15% for subscriptions lasting longer than a year) and put it on a platform owned by a market competitor. Apple plans to launch its own Apple TV+ service this fall.

The move is unsurprising as most streaming companies, including Netflix and Amazon Prime, offer tvOS versions of their apps. Like any other content-centric business, streaming services strive to reach as many viewers as possible, and Apple TV accounts for a significant share of the set-top device market.

Bloomberg also queried Iger on his role as an Apple board member, a position that could be in jeopardy given the two companies will soon be streaming industry rivals. Iger seemed to suggest that there is no conflict of interest, at least not yet.

"Obviously I'm mindful of my fiduciary responsibility to Apple shareholders as a member of the board, Iger said. "When the subject is discussed at Apple board meetings, I'm careful to recuse myself, and I'm in constant dialogue about making sure that I'm not doing anything that in any way would essentially cause me to be wouldn't be in keeping with what an Apple board member would do."

It seems the topic is rarely broached in board meetings, but that could change once Apple TV+ launches and efforts to expand the service intensify.

"That business is still nascent to Apple and still relatively small, so it's not really discussed all that much," he said. "So far it's been OK."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,823member
    While not an explicit admission that Disney+ will be made available on Apple TV as a tvOS app, the statement suggests Disney has no issue with marketing the service on Apple's branded set-top box. Doing so would subject Disney to Apple's customary 30% revenue sharing scheme (15% for subscriptions lasting longer than a year) and put it on a platform owned by a market competitor. Apple plans to launch its own Apple TV+ service this fall. 
    Isn’t this only if Disney allows signup in-app? If signup is only allowed on the web then they wouldn’t pay Apple anything. Iger didn’t say it would be part of Apple’s TV app, though I’m sure Apple will push hard to have it there.
    1STnTENDERBITS
  • Reply 2 of 24
    simply258simply258 Posts: 100member
    I’m willing to bet the Apple TV service will be subject to lower fees. Apple had to convince these services to join the scheme and I doubt Apple got to have its cake and eat it too, it definitely had to give some.
  • Reply 3 of 24
    Iger on the Apple board won't be like Google vs Apple. For a few pretty simple reasons: Apple TV+ is about acquiring and keeping people in Apple's ecosystem via exclusive content, Disney+ will be on AppleTV, so there is no reason for people to leave Apple's ecosystem if choosing Disney+. Also for Apple's target demographic (i.e. the end that can afford services), Disney+ isn't going to pose competition because this demographic will likely be able to afford both services.

    As for Disney, Disney+ is about revenue and brand - that's their MO, and it's priced in such a way that it can be added to existing services for minimal pain - or for those with less income, switch out of Netflix for an arguably better lineup of content.

    Also worth keeping in mind that until recently Disney's largest shareholder was Apple's largest shareholder, and she is still a significant holder of Disney stock.

    Solipscooter63socalbrian
  • Reply 4 of 24
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,836member
    Two pluses can only amount to a bigger plus!
  • Reply 5 of 24
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,141member
    Awesome news.  Iger is obviously not a Schmitt.  So do we know what the additional cost will be on AppleTV, the same $6.99?
    edited April 12
  • Reply 6 of 24
    I haven’t seen if Disney+ will be offering movies in 4K. Can anyone confirm they will or won’t?
    dedgecko
  • Reply 7 of 24
    I haven’t seen if Disney+ will be offering movies in 4K. Can anyone confirm they will or won’t?
    Nobody (I checked three reliable sources) has mentioned it, so it definitely didn’t come up at the event or in the follow-up.

    I think it’s about hardware requirements, right? I’ll guess it’s safe to say that if I can get Coco in 4K in iTunes on my tv 4K then Disney+ will be able to do the same on the same hardware.
  • Reply 8 of 24
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,278member
    MacPro said:
    Awesome news.  Iger is obviously not a Schmitt.  So do we know what the additional cost will be on AppleTV, the same $6.99?
    Nope, the article says Disney hasn't even confirmed 100% that Disney+ will be available on the AppleTV+ service. I would certainly expect it to be but perhaps at a slightly higher cost than going direct. On the same note Chromecast was confirmed, but Android TV wasn't an absolute either, at least yet. Perhaps still negotiating the share percentages with some services before announcing availability, which would make sense. 
    edited April 12 chemengin
  • Reply 9 of 24
    I haven’t seen if Disney+ will be offering movies in 4K. Can anyone confirm they will or won’t?
    Nobody (I checked three reliable sources) has mentioned it, so it definitely didn’t come up at the event or in the follow-up.

    I think it’s about hardware requirements, right? I’ll guess it’s safe to say that if I can get Coco in 4K in iTunes on my tv 4K then Disney+ will be able to do the same on the same hardware.
    Well, I hope it's safe to say that. Currently there is no 4K Disney (or Pixar/Marvel/LucasFilm) content available through iTunes. There was some speculation that Disney was saving 4K for their own service.
  • Reply 10 of 24
    I haven’t seen if Disney+ will be offering movies in 4K. Can anyone confirm they will or won’t?
    This article says it will support 4K HDR playback. 

    https://d23.com/guide-to-disney-plus/
  • Reply 11 of 24
    I haven’t seen if Disney+ will be offering movies in 4K. Can anyone confirm they will or won’t?
    This article says it will support 4K HDR playback. 

    https://d23.com/guide-to-disney-plus/
    Thanks! Good find, they saved that to almost the end, ha ha!
  • Reply 12 of 24
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,007member
    Just got email this morning that my Netflix subscription is going up again. I’m hoping Apple can put together enough TV services so I can get rid of Netflix. I’ve watched about everything I care to watch through Netflix anyway. I’d like to see movie rentals through Apple TV+ dropped to Redbox prices (they stream at lower resolution) further reducing the need for Netflix. Wouldn’t lower rental costs generate more usage thereby increasing income? I could use my Apple Card rebates to pay for rentals. 😉
  • Reply 13 of 24
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,141member
    gatorguy said:
    MacPro said:
    Awesome news.  Iger is obviously not a Schmitt.  So do we know what the additional cost will be on AppleTV, the same $6.99?
    Nope, the article says Disney hasn't even confirmed 100% that Disney+ will be available on the AppleTV+ service. I would certainly expect it to be but perhaps at a slightly higher cost than going direct. On the same note Chromecast was confirmed, but Android TV wasn't an absolute either, at least yet. Perhaps still negotiating the share percentages with some services before announcing availability, which would make sense. 
     I read "CEO Bob Iger elaborated on the upcoming release, saying the company plans to offer the product on Apple TV."  I highly doubt he's not going to follow through.  Anyhoo I just bought a load of DIS seems like a good bet.  My AAPL is up over 1000% on average (early purchases over 2000%) but my Netflix only 300% so I switched Netflix for Disney just for fun to see how it does for a year or two.
    edited April 12
  • Reply 14 of 24
    This will be a successful streaming offering. Basically, it will appeal to every family with children anywhere in the world that has access to high-speed internet.

    I think, however, that the 'cord-cutting' market is starting to get ridiculously fragmented. One, it's going to make things an uphill battle for Apple to rise above the din. Two, people might just avoid the confusion and stick with cable, i.e., the fragmentation from cord-cutting could paradoxically result in the opposite.
    electrosoft
  • Reply 15 of 24
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,278member
    MacPro said:
    gatorguy said:
    MacPro said:
    Awesome news.  Iger is obviously not a Schmitt.  So do we know what the additional cost will be on AppleTV, the same $6.99?
    Nope, the article says Disney hasn't even confirmed 100% that Disney+ will be available on the AppleTV+ service. I would certainly expect it to be but perhaps at a slightly higher cost than going direct. On the same note Chromecast was confirmed, but Android TV wasn't an absolute either, at least yet. Perhaps still negotiating the share percentages with some services before announcing availability, which would make sense. 
     I read "CEO Bob Iger elaborated on the upcoming release, saying the company plans to offer the product on Apple TV."  I highly doubt he's not going to follow through.  Anyhoo I just bought a load of DIS seems like a good bet.  My AAPL is up over 1000% on average (early purchases over 2000%) but my Netflix only 300% so I switched Netflix for Disney just for fun to see how it does for a year or two.
    Ah, you are looking at a different source then.

    The AI article said, quoting:
    "The app will in all likelihood be available through traditional app distributors, Apple being one of them," Iger said. "So I'm fairly certain that if people want to buy the app -- sorry, subscribe to the app is probably a better way to put it -- they'll be able to do so through Apple and the iTunes Store."

    While not an explicit admission that Disney+ will be made available on Apple TV as a tvOS app,..."

    I hadn't seen the other quote you posted so it's appreciated. 
    edited April 12 chemengin
  • Reply 16 of 24
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,071member
    This will be a successful streaming offering. Basically, it will appeal to every family with children anywhere in the world that has access to high-speed internet.

    I think, however, that the 'cord-cutting' market is starting to get ridiculously fragmented. One, it's going to make things an uphill battle for Apple to rise above the din. Two, people might just avoid the confusion and stick with cable, i.e., the fragmentation from cord-cutting could paradoxically result in the opposite.
    Non-cable services are fragmented because human interests and preferences are fragmented. I have zero interest in any sports service, or this Disney service (yup, I don’t even care about streaming Marvel content - zoiks!). I will pay HBO, Starz or iTunes when my shows are running. Since they all have apps, it isn’t an issue in the slightest, and I don’t see that changing. 
    edited April 12
  • Reply 17 of 24
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,519member
    rob53 said:
    Just got email this morning that my Netflix subscription is going up again. I’m hoping Apple can put together enough TV services so I can get rid of Netflix. I’ve watched about everything I care to watch through Netflix anyway. I’d like to see movie rentals through Apple TV+ dropped to Redbox prices (they stream at lower resolution) further reducing the need for Netflix. Wouldn’t lower rental costs generate more usage thereby increasing income? I could use my Apple Card rebates to pay for rentals. 😉
    My view is that the pricing on iTunes rentals & purchases is mostly something that the content producers push for.  Not to devalue the respective rental & DVD/BR markets.  Apple could certainly generate significant attention with a big discount on iTunes rentals with a TV+ subscription.  The beauty of iTunes is that almost ALL new releases are there for rent, along with a huge backlog.  The issue is price - here in Canuckistan it ranges between $4.99 (back catalog) to $6.99 (most new releases).  

    Imagine getting rentals at $1.99 (back catalog) to $3.99 (new release), along with the TV+ content, for $9.99/month. Or an X% discount on purchases?  That is good value, and frankly would cost Apple less than huge investments in original content.  I would signup for that in a heartbeat.


  • Reply 18 of 24
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,836member
    Final of the nine Skywalker Star Wars movies is called: Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker
  • Reply 19 of 24
    Checklist:

    Make sign up and billing easy.
    Make it work seamlessly across all my Apple devices.
    Provide always on streaming and access as promised.
    Stream at the highest quality my connection and device will support.
    No ads.
  • Reply 20 of 24
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,141member
    gatorguy said:
    MacPro said:
    gatorguy said:
    MacPro said:
    Awesome news.  Iger is obviously not a Schmitt.  So do we know what the additional cost will be on AppleTV, the same $6.99?
    Nope, the article says Disney hasn't even confirmed 100% that Disney+ will be available on the AppleTV+ service. I would certainly expect it to be but perhaps at a slightly higher cost than going direct. On the same note Chromecast was confirmed, but Android TV wasn't an absolute either, at least yet. Perhaps still negotiating the share percentages with some services before announcing availability, which would make sense. 
     I read "CEO Bob Iger elaborated on the upcoming release, saying the company plans to offer the product on Apple TV."  I highly doubt he's not going to follow through.  Anyhoo I just bought a load of DIS seems like a good bet.  My AAPL is up over 1000% on average (early purchases over 2000%) but my Netflix only 300% so I switched Netflix for Disney just for fun to see how it does for a year or two.
    Ah, you are looking at a different source then.

    The AI article said, quoting:
    "The app will in all likelihood be available through traditional app distributors, Apple being one of them," Iger said. "So I'm fairly certain that if people want to buy the app -- sorry, subscribe to the app is probably a better way to put it -- they'll be able to do so through Apple and the iTunes Store."

    While not an explicit admission that Disney+ will be made available on Apple TV as a tvOS app,..."

    I hadn't seen the other quote you posted so it's appreciated. 
    Here you go.  From Apple Insider ... hard to miss I'd have thought.  Thanks to this I made a killing on DIS today and saved losing a ton on NFLX . :)
    edited April 12
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