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Data: Company filings. Chart: Axios Visuals

Disney unveiled its most ambitious content push in its 97-year history, announcing more than 100 new projects, most of which will be available on its streaming service Disney+.

The big picture: In just over a year, Disney has gobbled up 86.8 million subscribers, making it nearly half the size (45%) of Netflix, which launched its streaming service over a decade ago.

Driving the news: In a four-hour investor presentation, Disney unveiled plans for 10 new Marvel and Star Wars series, as well as 15 new Disney live action, Disney animation and Pixar features to be released on Disney+.

  • Disney also announced a slew of new content for Hulu, including a new show with the Kardashians in late 2021. 

Disney's strategy contrasts starkly with rival HBO Max. HBO's parent company, AT&T, said last week it would make all 2021 Warner Bros. films available on HBO Max at the same time that the films debut in theaters.

  • Disney, which owns 40% of the domestic box office, can't afford such a bold release strategy, but CEO Bob Chapek said it would try putting one film, “Raya and the Last Dragon,” on Disney+ with a "premier access fee" in conjunction with theaters as an experiment in March. 

The big picture: The pandemic has caused entertainment giants to embrace streaming faster than most were prepared to do, resulting in lots of reshuffling at top companies.

  • Last week, Discovery+ also joined the streaming wars, debuting a new global entertainment streaming service discovery+ for $4.99 monthly, focused on unscripted programming. 

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Go deeper

Dec 10, 2020 - Economy & Business

Disney+ has 86.8 million subscribers

Credit: Disney+

Disney CEO Bob Chapek told media and investors on Thursday that its streaming service Disney+ now has 86.8 million subscribers.

Why it matters: The company's streaming success has helped to offset major losses in Disney's studios, parks and resorts divisions.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse under scrutiny for elite club affiliations

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse during a Senate hearing on Capitol Hill in February. Photo: Susan Walsh-Pool/Getty Image

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) said in a statement Wednesday that he is a member of an exclusive Rhode Island sailing club that lacks diversity.

Why it matters: Whitehouse has repeatedly spoken out against systemic racism and come under scrutiny this week for his family's affiliation with elite clubs. This is the second such club accused of lacking diversity that the senator has been linked to in recent days

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Border Democrats want migrants vaccinated

Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Tex.) Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Some Democrats representing border districts want President Biden to vaccinate migrants crossing into the U.S. — especially if he lifts public health restrictions that have prevented them from claiming asylum on American soil.

Why it matters: Inoculating migrants treads a fine line of protecting the U.S. population while possibly incentivizing more migration with the offer of free COVID-19 vaccines. Republicans are likely to pounce on that.