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Disney Might Add Live Channels To Disney+, Including Marvel And Star Wars Channels

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Star Wars Originals in the Disney+ app

Disney plans to add live channels to Disney+, according to a new report from The Information which cites “people involved in the planning” for the details. The move would offer subscribers the option to tune in and watch content in more of a similar way to how traditional TV is consumed, and that includes sitting through ad breaks.

Essentially, the report suggests that Disney is now looking to offer “a series of” curated linear channels that show programming from specific genres, including Disney, Marvel, Pixar and Star Wars. However, unlike the wealth of FAST channels now available through free streaming services, Disney’s reported channels would still require a subscription to Disney+.

In a bid to make the app more of a one-stop streaming solution, Disney only recently added Hulu content to Disney+. In theory, the addition of live channels could further add to that end goal by offering subscribers the option to watch their favorite content on demand or live.

Another benefit of implementing a FAST channel-like approach to Disney+ content is that Disney can further look to increase the use of ads. While Disney+ already offers ad-supported and ad-free tiers, content that’s streamed live will likely include ad breaks in the same way that traditional live TV does.

Considering these channels are live, as are the ad breaks, it is likely that ad-free subscribers would also need to sit through the ads when tuning in to a live channel. This is already the case for ad-free subscribers to other streaming services that offer a linear experience, including both Paramount+ and Peacock.

While the report did seem to suggest that the addition of these channels is likely to happen, there was no mention of when the first of these Disney+ channels might go live in the app.

John Finn

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