Here’s your quick, fun, sometimes serious, and always interesting daily tech digest, by way of the DGiT Daily newsletter, for Friday, April 12, 2019!

1. Disney+ announced at an aggressively cheap $6.99 a month

Remember when Apple held a huge event for its various services, including TV and movies, and ended up giving us no detail? No price, no date, no real understanding of its offering?

Well, in a single tweet yesterday (and then lots more tweets), Disney revealed more about its hotly anticipated Disney+ streaming service than we saw at all from Apple in its big stage reveal.

Disney+

And it’s all coming at the unexpectedly low price of $7 a month or $70 per year, a dramatically low-price.

The big need-to-knows:

  • Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic will be available on connected TV and mobile devices.
  • ESPN+ and Hulu will “likely” be offered as part of a discounted bundle.
  • The service will offer 4K HDR streaming.
  • It’s coming to the U.S. on November 12th, with a global rollout as follows: “Disney+ will rapidly expand globally, with plans to be in nearly all major regions of the world within the next two years.”
  • A Disney executive told Variety more specifically that Western Europe and in Asia-Pacific regions will start in Q4 2019, and into early 2020, with Eastern Europe and Latin America starting at the end of 2020.
  • Disney+ will be ad-free, supported solely by subscription fees, and available on as many platforms as possible: from disneyplus.com to smart TVs, connected streaming devices including Roku and PS4, and include offline viewing.

Shows and more:

  • Disney+ will include 7,500 episodes of current and off-air TV shows; 25 original series and 10 original movies and specials; 400 library movie titles; and 100 recent theatrical films release, according to Agnes Chu, senior VP of content.
  • All 30 seasons of “The Simpsons” will be available on day one, as Homer and family explained (Twitter).
  • Marvel will offer “Loki” starring Tom Hiddleston, “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier” live-action series, “WandaVision” with Elizabeth Olsen, and “Marvel’s What If…?”, exploring the MCU.
  • There’s a whole lot of “Star Wars”: “The Mandalorian”, the first scripted live-action Star Wars series, a new series of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”.
  • Pixar will offer “Toy Story”-based projects, “Forky Asks a Question”, an animated short series, and the short film “Lamp Life”.
  • And much more…

The big picture – and the costs:

  • $7 a month (or less for a yearly price) is just so value-packed, considering the catalog Disney is offering.
  • It’s super-aggressive, and Disney admits it won’t be nearly enough to pay the bills.
  • The interesting thing about the streaming space, where Netflix and Amazon Prime Video and Hulu and the rest play, is that no one is making money.
  • Instead, the companies are spending like crazy to hook subscribers, with a future payday in mind.
  • It’s the same as Lyft and Uber: both losing between hundreds of millions to billions, as they attempt to make a land grab.
  • Disney said that it will spend $1 billion in cash on original programming for Disney+ in 2020, with “just under” $1 billion for operating expenses.
  • Original content costs will rise to around $2.5 billion by 2024.
  • Meanwhile, Netflix is poised to spend $15 billion in 2019 and said it would lose between $3-4 billion in cash in 2019. Amazon said it is spending $5 billion in 2019.
  • The only way to claw that back is with more subscribers. But with more competition, more subscriptions for more types of content, a fixed number of hours in the day, and incredible sums being paid to studios, showrunners, and stars to produce original ideas, not every service can win.
  • Given Disney’s breadth of content, and the likelihood that it can snap its fingers and create a new Marvel film that returns at least a billion dollars or so, it’s hard to see it losing its nerve.

2. Breaking: Trump administration to unveil big 5G push with “largest-ever swath of radio frequencies in the U.S.” to be released (Axios).


3. Future Android system updates might pass through the Google Play Store (Android Authority).


4. Codenames surface for Google Pixel 4 (Coral) and Pixel 4 XL (Flame) (9to5Google).


5. 10 best Android Auto apps, for a better driving experience (AA).


6. Here’s Uber’s S-1 filing, and a breakdown from TechCrunch.


7. Also, Uber says Google Maps is a critical service, and has paid more than $25m per year to use it (AA).


8. Moon landing by Israel’s Beresheet spacecraft ends in a crashing failure (Space.com).


9. Meanwhile, SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy stuck the triple-booster landing with its first commercial launch (Engadget).


10. Tesla and battery-maker Panasonic are breaking up – and it’s not all bad news (Bloomberg).


11. “What movie was loved by the audience but hated by critics?” (r/askreddit).


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