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Disney+ is changing its release model and plans to launch all “Echo” episodes at once


Marvel Studios President Kevin Fiege took to the Disney Upfront stage on Tuesday to announce that Marvel’s new Disney+ show, “Echo”, gets a binge release – a first for an MCU series. Disney+ will drop all Season 1 episodes on November 29.

The “Hawkeye” spin-off stars Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez, a deaf Native American character with photographic reflexes. She is the adopted daughter of supervillain Kingpin (played by Vincent D’Onofrio), but she is known to fight alongside Daredevil, who wants to bring down the criminal underworld. Charlie Cox is reportedly returning as Daredevil in ‘Echo’.

This will be the fourth female-led MCU series on Disney+, joining ‘Wandavision’, ‘She-Hulk’ and ‘Ms. Miracle.”

Disney’s new binge strategy is a surprise move for the company and follows in the footsteps of rival Netflix, which swears by its bingeable release model because it ensures “substantial engagement, especially for newer titles,” previously Netflix said in its Q3 2022 shareholder letter.

Disney+ tested the waters with its Star Wars titles, starting with “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” the first live-action Star Wars show to premiere with multiple episodes. Meanwhile, “Andor” premiered with three episodes and was the longest live-action Disney+ season at 12 episodes.

It’s likely the company is feeling pressure to change its release approach after losing four million Disney+ subscribers last quarter, bringing its total to 157.8 million. In the first quarter of 2023, the streaming service saw its first subscriber loss, with 2.4 million subscribers.

Disney plans to save $5.5 billion in total costs, of which $3 billion will go to content savings.

The move also comes as Marvel rethinks its game plan. Fiege previously said that the studio wants to know more about which MCU projects are being released. It’s been argued that many fans are overwhelmed by the wave of superhero shows, and it’s time for Marvel to slow it down a bit.

“It’s harder to hit the zeitgeist when there are so many products — and so much ‘content,’ as they say, which is a word I hate,” Fiege said in a Weekly entertainment interview. “But we want Marvel Studios and the MCU projects to really stand out and be above it. So people will see that as we progress through Phases 5 and 6. The pace at which we release the Disney+ shows will change so that they all have a chance to shine.”

So instead of airing episodes on a weekly basis, the decision to release “Echo” as a full season appears to be the start of a deliberate effort to phase out the MCU release schedule.

During the Upfronts presentation, Fiege also revealed the official premiere date for “Loki” Season 2, coming to Disney+ on October 6.

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