Disney+ Announces Second-Ever Livestream, ‘Harmonious Live!’; Are More Live Broadcasts on Their Way?
To celebrate World Music Day, Disney+ is flexing its live streaming muscles with “Harmonious Live!,” a music-filled special event broadcast to viewers in the United States and Canada live from EPCOT on Tuesday, June 21 at 9 p.m. ET. The event will only be the second live stream that the service has ever had, following this year's Academy Award nominations. With “Dancing with the Stars” moving from ABC to Disney+, it appears that the streamer is looking to gain a bit more live experience before it dives in on a weekly basis this fall.
The “Harmonious Live!” special will be hosted by Tony Award-winner and Disney icon Idina Menzel and will feature Auli‘i Cravalho who voiced Disney’s beloved Moana. The musical special will give viewers at home the chance to experience one of Disney World’s largest nighttime spectaculars combining giant floating screens, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics, and lasers while exploring worlds inspired by “Moana,” “Aladdin,” “Coco,” “The Lion King,” “Mulan,” and other Disney classics.
“Harmonious” looks to bring together familiar Disney music and stories in a way that also highlights unique perspectives. The live-streamed event will feel right at home at Epcot as it will feature multiple languages and celebrate “the transcendent power of music with a medley of classic Disney music reinterpreted by a culturally diverse group of 240 artists from all around the world.”
Related: What Does ‘Dancing with the Stars’ Move to Disney+ Mean for the Streamer, Hulu, Industry at Large
Following the livestream, “Harmonious Live!” will be available on Disney+ in the U.S. and Canada to stream anytime on demand. While the streamer has not yet unveiled its complete plans for the new streaming version of “DWTS,” it is believed to be a cornerstone for two new aspects of the service: Live broadcasts and ad-supported streaming.
The live episodes of “DWTS” are expected to air like they always have on ABC with traditional commercial breaks, regardless of what tier a viewer is signed up for. Then when the episodes become available for on-demand viewing, they will be presented according to ad option. The series is also likely to receive a major marketing push in an effort to attract new subscribers who might have been hesitant to adopt streaming due to price or content concerns in the past. So, while Disney as a whole has plenty of experience with live broadcasts, this new special is likely less about gaining experience on the technical end, but more about getting audiences accustomed to the service being the home of live programming.
As Disney+ further embraces livestreaming in the U.S., the door is open for many more types of live broadcasts. The service already airs live sports around the world, but domestically Disney+ could do anything from live musicals to red carpet events to D23 panels to live TV tapings or more. It is clear that Disney CEO Bob Chapek is not afraid to take risks and make changes, so at this point, it would seem like anything and everything is on the table for Mickey’s flagship streamer.
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