Disney+ (pronounced Disney Plus) is an American subscription video on-demand streaming service owned and operated by the Direct-to-Consumer & International (DTCI) subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The service primarily distributes films and television series produced by The Walt Disney Studios and Walt Disney Television, with the service also advertising content from the company's Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic brands in particular. Original films and television series are also distributed on Disney+, with ten films and seven series having been produced for the platform as of November 2019. Serving adjacent to Disney's other streaming platforms – the general programming-oriented Hulu and the sports-oriented ESPN+ – Disney+ focuses on family entertainment based around Disney brands.
Disney+ relies on technology developed by Disney Streaming Services, 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 DTCI as part of a corporate restructuring in anticipation of Disney's acquisition of 21st Century Fox. 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+ debuted on November 12, 2019, in the United States, Canada, and the Netherlands. The service was expanded to Australia, New Zealand, and Puerto Rico a week later, and expanded to select European countries on March 24, 2020. It became available in India in April through Disney's Hotstar streaming service which was rebranded as Disney+ Hotstar. Further expansions are planned for Europe and Latin America in mid 2020, as Disney's existing international streaming distribution deals with competing services expire. Upon launch, the service was met with positive reception of its content library, but was criticized for technical problems. Alterations made to films and television shows also attracted media attention. Ten million users subscribed to Disney+ within its first day of operation. The service had 60.5 million subscribers as of August 4, 2020.