Some Disney+ and ESPN+ subscribers will have to see an ad in order for Disney to buy back the rights to some of its TV shows and movies.
The Verge reports that Disney+ will implement a promotional offer into the final sign up page prompting subscribers to sign up for the premium cable network Starz. Disney is running the Starz ad to gain rights back to its films, most notably Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Disney signed over licensing to its content to Netflix and Starz before it ever decided to create its own streaming service. Movies from Marvel, Lucasfilm, and Pixar were reportedly licensed out in earlier agreements.
The company is still trying to buy back the rights to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In August, Disney said that the popular film would not yet be available to stream when Disney+ launches.
Disney+ will launch at $7 a month when it debuts on November 11. So far, there are reports that Disney+ already has more than a million subscribers. In June, Morgan Stanley analyst Benjamin Swinburne projected that Disney+ could have 13 million subscribers by the end of 2020.
Disney+ is expected to get even more subscribers from a new partnership with Verizon that was announced on October 22. The partnership allows all new and existing Verizon Wireless customers on unlimited data plans to receive a year of Disney+ at no extra cost. Roughly half of Verizon’s existing 100 million wireless customers are eligible for the deal.
Even though subscribers will have to wait for Star Wars: The Force Awakens to appear on Disney+, the streaming service is debuting with an extensive list of over 600 movies and TV shows. Classics like 101 Dalmatians, Cinderella, and Mary Poppins, to Disney Channel shows like Even Stevens, Kim Possible, and Lizzie McGuire will be available when Disney+ launches.
Subscribers can expect new series like The Mandalorian, High School Musical: The Series, a Lizzie McGuire revival starring an adult Hillary Duff, a short-form Muppets series, and reality programming such as The World According to Jeff Goldblum.
Earlier this month, Disney CEO Bob Iger said that he wasn’t worried about competitors like the upcomingApple TV+.
“We’re very, very different than any other service that’s out there,” Iger told CNBC’s The Exchange.
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