The all-new DisneyNOW app is now available on Roku, combining live and on-demand content from Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior and Radio Disney. DisneyNOW replaces the former Disney Channel on Roku, while Disney XD and Disney Junior remain available as standalone Roku channels. Disney and Disney Movies on Demand round out the Disney offerings on Roku.
As with the Disney Channel, Disney XD, and Disney Junior channels, DisneyNOW is a TV Everywhere channel; full access to movies, TV episodes, and live TV will still require viewers to authenticate through a participating cable, satellite or digital programming distributor. (Read more about TV Everywhere here.) However, DisneyNOW also has a large selection of unlocked short video clips and a number of full episodes available for all viewers, so those without a pay TV service may still be interested in the channel.
The Walt Disney Company is still planning to launch its Disney-branded direct-to-consumer streaming service in 2019. That service will allow fans to subscribe directly to the Disney service without needing a pay TV service for authentication. Disney previously stated they will pull all Disney content off of the Netflix service when they launch their own direct-to-consumer offering.
In addition to Roku, DisneyNOW is currently available on iOS and Android mobile devices, smart TVs, and Kindle devices and Roku. Disney states that the app will be coming to Fire TV, Android TV and the Web in 2018.
In a press release announcing the launch of DisneyNOW, Kimberly Hicks, vice president, Digital Media, Disney Channels, said, "The decision to consolidate our Disney Channel 'Watch' apps into the new DisneyNOW app was driven by what kids told us they want in a video experience. The upgraded app enables us to showcase great stories and characters, and bring the magic of Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior to their daily lives."
DisneyNOW also brings an updated user interface to the app. Each family member can create their own profile, selecting from more than 180 Disney Emoji avatars to represent themselves. Profiles will allow each user to resume watching where they left off and watch new episodes of their favorite shows.
Current series available on DisneyNOW include Disney Channel's 'Andi Mack,' 'Raven’s Home,' 'Bizaardvark,' 'Stuck in the Middle,' 'Tangled: The Series'; Disney Junior's 'Vampirina,' 'Elena of Avalor,' 'Mickey and the Roadster Racers,' 'The Lion Guard,' 'Puppy Dog Pals' and 'PJ Masks'; and Disney XD's 'DuckTales,' 'Star Wars Rebels,' 'Walk the Prank,' 'MECH-X4' and 'Milo Murphy’s Law.' DisneyNOW also features Disney Channel Original Movies (DCOMs) selected from over 100 titles. Thirteen are currently available.
Disney has provided the following list of "some of the most anticipated programming":
- Disney Channel's pre-linear premiere of "The Scariest Story Ever: A Mickey Mouse Halloween Spooktacular"
- Celebration of the 10th anniversary of "Wizards of Waverly Place" with all episodes and "Wizard of Waverly Place: The Movie" (October 12)
- All season one episodes of "Andi Mack" (now) and its second season premiere episode (October 27)
- The first episode of season two of "Elena of Avalor" (October 14)
- New episodes of Disney Junior’s "Mickey and the Roadster Racers" and "Puppy Dog Pals"
- New "Disney Junior Nursery Rhymes"
- Series premiere of Disney Junior’s "Vampirina"(October 1)
- New episodes of Disney Junior’s "Mission Force One," the new chapter of "Miles from Tomorrowland" (October 16)
- "Star Wars Rebels" seasons 1-3
- Radio Disney's musical performances and in-studio appearances by recording artists Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande and Camila Cabello, among others
- "Collections" – themed programming beginning with Halloween episodes of "Austin & Ally," "BUNK’D," "Doc McStuffins," "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse," "Phineas and Ferb" and "Gravity Falls"
Those without the ability to authenticate the channel will find the following among the unlocked videos:
- 12 full episodes and over two dozen clips from "Andi Mack"
- Over a dozen clips from "Emoji"
- The first 3 episodes from Season 1 of "Atomic Puppet"
- 3 full episodes from Season 1 of "Austin & Ally"
- 2 full episodes and several clips from "Doc McStuffins"
- 3 full episodes from "The Little Mermaid"