Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

AP Photo/Richard Drew

Disney is revealing more details about its new over-the-top digital entertainment app that will launch in 2019.

Why it matters: Legacy entertainment businesses are becoming very difficult to sustain in an era where consumers want on-demand, digital video that they can access at scale from tech companies like Netflix and Facebook. Linear options, like movies delivered in theaters and primetime shows on cable TV, are becoming less appealing to consumers who want to watch everything on their own time and across many digital devices. This is part of Disney's push to be a competitor to Netflix in the direct-to-consumer entertainment space.

The details:

  • The new OTT product will be priced "significantly lower than Netflix," CEO Bob Iger says. Iger notes that the service will launch with less volume than Netflix but with quality content that centers around three of its top brands: Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars.
  • The new streaming service will be commercial free, according to Iger. While the Walt Disney Co. plans to integrate commercials into its sports streaming app, Iger says "We're not planning to have the programming that airs in the DTC service interrupted by commercials." Iger did say that sponsored programmed is being considered.
  • The name of the product has yet to be determined, says Iger. "We're working on the cadence in which we will schedule and produce in the OTT service."
  • A brand new Star Wars trilogy coming to Disney. It will be launched by the Star Wars: The Last Jedi Director Rian Johnson, who will write and produce the trilogy with producer Ram Bergman.

Go deeper: Disney is reported to have approached 21st Century Fox about a deal to acquire its entertainment and studios businesses, including 21st Century Fox studios as well as National Geographic, FX cable channels and more.

Go deeper

1 hour ago - World

Biden freezes U.S. arms deals with Saudi Arabia and UAE

Trump struck several large arms deals with Mohammed bin Salman (L) and Saudi Arabia. Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

The Biden administration has put on hold two big arms deals with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates which were approved in the final weeks of the Trump administration, a State Department official tells Axios.

Why it matters: The sales of F-35 jets and attack drones to the UAE and a large supply of munitions to Saudi Arabia will be paused pending a review. That signals a major policy shift from the Trump era, and may herald sharp tensions with both Gulf countries.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Podcasts

Robert Downey Jr. launches VC funds to help save the planet

Robert Downey Jr. on Wednesday announced the launch of two venture capital funds focused on startups in the sustainability sector, the latest evolution of a project he launched two years ago called Footprint Coalition.

Between the lines: This is a bit of life imitating art, as Downey Jr. spent 11 films portraying a character who sought to save the planet (or, in some cases, the universe).

DHS warns of "heightened threat" because of domestic extremism

Supporters of former President Trump protest inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Photo: Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

The Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday issued an advisory warning of a "heightened threat environment" in the U.S. because of "ideologically-motivated violent extremists."

Why it matters: DHS believes the threat of violence will persist for "weeks" following President Biden's inauguration. The extremists include those who opposed the presidential transition, people spurred by "grievances fueled by false narratives" and "anger over COVID-19 restrictions ... and police use of force[.]"