Disney+ is an American subscription video on-demand over-the-top streaming media service owned and operated by Disney Streaming, the streaming division of Disney Entertainment, a major business segment of the Walt Disney Company. The service primarily distributes films and television shows produced by Walt Disney Studios and Disney Television Studios, with dedicated content hubs for Disney's flagship brands; Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic, as well as showcasing original and exclusive films and television shows.
Disney+ relies on technology developed by Disney Streaming, which was originally established as BAMTech in 2015 when it was spun off from MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM). Disney increased its ownership share of BAMTech to a controlling stake in 2017 and subsequently transferred ownership to Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer & International, as part of a corporate restructuring in anticipation of Disney's acquisition of 21st Century Fox, through which the Star brand was inherited and got retooled as a content platform within the service in some regions, with Latin America having its own standalone service, Star+.
With BAMTech helping to launch ESPN+ in early 2018, and Disney's streaming distribution deal with Netflix ending in 2019, Disney took the opportunity to use technologies being developed for ESPN+ to establish a Disney-branded streaming service that would feature its content. Production of films and television shows for exclusive release on the platform began in late 2017.
Disney+ was launched on November 12, 2019, in the United States, Canada, and the Netherlands, and expanded to Australia, New Zealand, and Puerto Rico a week later. It became available in select European countries in March 2020 and in India in April through Star India's Hotstar streaming service, which was rebranded as Disney+ Hotstar. Additional European countries received Disney+ in September 2020, with the service expanding to Latin America in November 2020. It later expanded in Southeast Asian countries since 2021, followed by countries in Northern and Eastern Europe, Middle East and parts of Africa since May 2022.
Upon launch, it was met with positive reception of its content library, but was criticized for technical problems and missing content. Alterations made to films and television shows also attracted media attention. Ten million users had subscribed to Disney+ by the end of its first day of operation.
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