The acquisition of 21st Century Fox by Disney, among other things, means that various brands long associated with Fox are now part of Disney. And one of those is The Simpsons, which has aired on the Fox Network since 1989.
Per Variety, The Simpsons will have Disney+ as its exclusive streaming home when it launches in November. The long-running animated season had streamed on the Simpsons World app since 2014, when its re-runs moved to FXX with the highly watched “Every Simpsons Ever” marathon.
The fate of the existing Simpsons World app is unclear.
The show is produced by 20th Century Fox Television, which is now part of Disney, although it continues to air new episodes on the Fox Network, which remains part of the original Fox. The show is now in its 32nd season.
Through the Fox deal and others, Disney has assembled a massive amount of both legacy content and intellectual property, both of which will form the basis for its streaming service, which has been in the works for several years. Disney-owned ESPN launched the ESPN+ streaming service last year, while Disney also owns a majority stake in Hulu.
The Simpsons move was one of several announcements related to Disney+ that came as part of Disney’s investor day on Thursday.
Per Business Insider, Disney+ will launch November 12 and cost $6.99 per month, or $69.99 annually, putting its price point below that of Netflix. Bundles will likely be available with Hulu and ESPN+, while the interface will be similar to that of Netflix, with the content listed in rows.
It did not occur to me that Disney buying Fox meant Disney owned The Simpsons — and how weird that would feel — until just now. https://t.co/UHW2UYkuYy— Matt Singer (@mattsinger) April 12, 2019
The service will offer 25 original series in its first year, as well as 10 movies and specials, while Disney+ will offer a huge amount of original content, including many classic films that have long been in the “Disney Vault,” as well as the entire Star Wars trilogy.
Among the new series available at launch will be The Mandalorian, the first-ever live action TV series set in the Star Wars universe. A new take on The Lady and the Tramp is also set to debut in November.
The launch of Disney+ will put it in competition with Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and other streaming services, as well as the upstart Apple TV Plus service from Apple, which is also launching this year. It may very well bring about a new model for content distribution, in which subscriptions to streaming services become as important as cable, if not more important.