Netflix, the giant streaming firm with 152 million subscribers around the world, faces a serious commercial challenge from November 12th when Disney weighs into the world of streaming with its Disney Plus service.

Not only will Disney’s offering be cheaper in the US, at just $7 a month against Netflix’s $13 for its basic plan, it also will be able to offer a mammoth library of kids’ and family content, shows and films that in many cases have already proven themselves as children’s favourites.

These include 7,500 episodes of old Disney TV shows, 25 original series, Marvel movies, National Geographic specials, 30 seasons of The Simpsons and the entire Disney-Pixar-Lucasfilm library.

While Netflix has already built a solid base as a streamer of children’s content, much of its most popular shows and movies have been supplied by Disney, the New York Times reports. As licences run out, that content will no longer be made available, but will be streamed instead by Disney.

Netflix, though, has prepared for the battle ahead by gathering an army of kids’ and family content makers and building an arsenal of fresh material, much of it being made by already commercially proven creatives, with a several key executives having decamped from Disney.

Kids’ content is hugely important to Netflix, as some 60% of the company’s global audience watch children and family content on a monthly basis. In total, the New York Times reports, Netflix has spent billions on its push into children and family content.

It recently bought the rights to animated versions of NBCUniversal’s “Jurassic Park” and “Fast and Furious” franchises. It has also acquired rights to the “Chronicles of Narnia” and “Baby-Sitters Club” books, and made a deal with Roald Dahl’s widow to “reimagine and extend” classics like “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”.

Much of Netflix’s original content for families and children has only recently started to appear. And its first animated movie, “Klaus”, will show on November 15th, just three days after Disney enters the streaming market.

The company may also have to fight on multiple fronts: besides Disney, it faces competition from Apple Plus, which launches on November 1st and will offer animated series, and HBO Max, the soon-to-launch app from WarnerMedia, which will offer streaming of more than 4,500 episodes of Sesame Street.

Sourced from New York Times; additional content by WARC staff