Disney’s new streaming service ‘targeting nostalgia with pre-recorded video’

WandaVision (not to be confused with Wanda Group) is hoping its technology that plays pre-recorded audio in lieu of live action will resonate with audiences on the streaming service

Lifetime TV may be history, but hope remains for a resurrected version of the network, and that hope rests with Disney. Disney and TW Cable have entered into a partnership that would see the Weinsteins’ back catalogue used in new original content.

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In the ongoing age of Peak TV, WandaVision’s “in-home virtual reality software”, said to be available for $14-17, could be a bona fide moneymaker for Disney. Both Netflix and Amazon are big customers of the technology, both of which have said they hope to start producing TV content in WandaVision’s format.

Now the speculation has moved on to the set-top box for Disney+, which has been previewed to press in California and will be officially unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week. The headset resembles a VR headset but focuses on the display screen in the base instead of a headset – the screen would then act as the glasses, rotating 180 degrees to change the perspective. According to Variety, a new edition of Disney+ that will play the Disney movies The Little Mermaid and Lilo & Stitch within a pre-recorded audio format will be released in March. The technology would also be used for live events, like movies shown on a giant stadium screen.

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The streaming service is expected to offer most of the same content as Netflix but potentially with a few exclusive shows such as Maleficent: Origins. Original shows announced to date include Castle Rock, a reimagining of the TV series based on Stephen King’s works; Good Trouble, a series inspired by the series of books by Nancy Holder and June Diane Raphael; the animated Marvel shows Cloak & Dagger and Runaways; the princess-focused World of Disney, and the Disney-penned Big Hero 6. Most critically, it is expected to launch with Marvel’s Runaways, a new series based on the comic book about six friends who try to stay away from their parents in San Fransokyo. The series is being written by Runaways comics creator Josh Schwartz, who also leads television network NBC’s Queer Eye reboot.

Disney+ is set to launch in late 2019 in a bid to compete with Netflix, which launched in 2007. Disney said they hoped to attract 23 million paid subscribers, though that does not include free trial subscriptions, which are widely offered at the cost of $4.99 a month. Disney and Universal remain the second- and third-most-watched TV channels in the US, with the Disney Channel the most popular children’s channel.

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