A few days ago, Disney+ revealed their plans to release the upcoming live-action interpretation of Mulan through their streaming service rather than delay the film’s release date any further. The catch, however, is that in order to watch this film, users of the streaming platform would have to pay a $29.99 fee in order to watch this film, under a new brand Disney+ calls “Premier Access.”
Disney’s “Mulan” will release on September 4th via Disney+’s offering of “Premier Access”
“Once you have Premier Access to Mulan, you can watch [the film] as many times as you want on any platform where Disney+ is available. Your access to Mulan will continue as long as you are an active Disney+ subscriber.” Following the announcement, Disney CEO Bob Chapek described the move as a “one-off” in a Disney’s Q3 FY20 Earnings Results Webcast,explaining that right now they’re “going to have a chance to learn from this and to see whether that [Premier Access] makes sense.”
Needless to say, the Premier Access offering has sparked some debate amongst some users of the platform, some believing it’s too high a price for a single film, while others (myself included), have been wondering about Premier Access’ potential for other films to be displayed utilizing this PVOD format, some examples being Disney’s Jungle Cruise and Marvel Studios’ Black Widow.
So I got to investigating and started working on a theory piece for the potential this service has and how Mulan’s release can affect the future of PVOD itself. Then, simply because I wanted to make sure I used all my options, I decided to just directly contact Disney+’s Help Center, via their live chat option and see if they could help out. And they certainly did.
My first Disney+ Live Help Chat Conversation with an agent.
In my first conversation with the Disney+ Agent, I asked about the Premier Access service, its pricing and if it was going to be a yearly subscription added to the one I already had or if it was a one time fee on a “film-by film” basis where one would pay the $29.99 fee for every film released via Premier Access. The agent replied with the following string of messages after he contacted his account specialist and left me on read for nearly 10 minutes. He confirmed that the $29.99 fee is just a one time fee, on top of our monthly/yearly subscription, that gives you access to Mulan and that “FOR NOW WE have Mulan, but when time goes by, the premier access WILL BE MORE UPDATED and more movies to watch.” This confirms that Disney does indeed have plans to premier other films via Premier Access, similar to what they’re doing with Mulan.
Now, rationally, I contacted the “Scooper Supreme“ known as Charles Murphy and I showed him what I had. We needed more proof. After all, the main purpose of an experiment is to show that if you obtained the same result once, then theoretically, if we do it over and over, we should get a similar result. So we tried 3 MORE TIMES. (I did it twice and Charles did it once.)
My second Disney+ Live Help Chat Conversation with a second agent.
The second agent was more focused on discussing Mulan but eventually answered my question and offered a similar response with a “guarantee…that Disney+ will offer more amazing movies” in regards to the Premier Access itself.
My third and last attempt was not as fruitful because the agent had kept referring me to this page. (Well someone gets a 1/5 in customer service). But it is important to note out that I managed to verify the page’s identity, and confirmed that it is a “Hero Content Page”, meaning the page linked above isn’t specifically just for Mulan, but that it can be updated with other film properties simply replacing the Mulan information and inserting another film in there.
Charles also attempted to get information on this, to make sure of the veracity of these comments and he was fruitful as well being told that while Mulan was the only film available “for now”, Premier Access could be used similarly in the future.
So, in a string of either complete naiveté on my part and literal sheer dumb luck, we managed to get a confirmation that Disney+ is indeed planning on using this PVOD service to push films out through their streaming platform. Yes, you’ll be paying an additional fee for each film ($29.99 does not get you access to all Premier Access films) but this resolves one of the biggest discussion points surrounding the platform since it was announced.
This gives fans an opportunity to see films that they were planning to see before the COVID-19 pandemic arose back in March, starting with Mulan as their first true test, and with 60.5 million subscribers on the platform already, I predict Premier Access has a very bright future ahead of it. So don’t be surprised if you get one of the following promos on your twitter feed or your email address.