6:00am PT by Graeme McMillan
DC Universe Pricing and Plans Unveiled
DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Digital Networks have unveiled new details about DC Universe, the upcoming streaming service that combines original and archive video content, comic books and more. The news, including pricing information and pre-order deals, came Thursday at San Diego Comic-Con.
Coinciding with the launch of the DC Universe Experience, a pop-up attraction at the Hilton San Diego Gaslamp Quarter, DC and Warner Bros. announced that pre-orders for DC Universe have opened at DCUniverse.com for an annual fee of $74.99 (plus tax, in applicable areas), with a monthly subscription of $7.99 also available at launch. All fans who pre-order before launch will receive an additional three months at no cost.
Additionally, a special Aquaman premiere sweepstakes will run from July 19 through 5 p.m. P.T. on July 22, with all pre-orders being entered into a drawing for two tickets to the U.S. premiere of the Jason Momoa vehicle in December. Comic-Con attendees who pre-order at the DC booth at Comic-Con (Booth #1915) will also receive a limited-edition T-shirt.
Wednesday evening, select members of the press were able to view demonstrations of DC Universe on both mobile devices and TV with DCE publisher and chief creative officer Jim Lee showcasing the remastered digital editions of comic books that will be available on the service in addition to debuting the first trailer for Titans, the first of a number of original television series created for the service. When the service launches this fall, it will be available via iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Android TV, as well as web and mobile web. Although no original comic book content will be created for DC Universe for launch, Lee did say that discussions regarding that topic had taken place, with creators excited by the possibility offered by the service.
“We always wanted this to be the place where all of DC lives,” Craig Hunegs, president of Warner Bros. Digital Networks and president of business and strategy at Warner Bros. Television Group, told Heat Vision. “This is intended to be a hub for the DC experience. We’ll always have theatrical releases, but I think increasingly, you’ll see the television series produced for DC exclusively living on DCU; I think the comic books, not to exclude all the partners we have, will become a large part of the experience.”
Hunegs described himself as a “lapsed comic book reader” who had found his interest rekindled by the new usability of DCU.
"I’ve got the beta at home now, [and] I find that when I turn to it at night now, I read comic books. I read them with my girlfriend, I read them with my kids. That’s what we do. It’s a completely different kind of comic book experience," he said. "My kids are discovering comic books for the first time, but for me, it’s deeply nostalgic. It’s fantastic. Even now, when I’m getting back into comic books, I’m not reading them on my tablet — occasionally I do, if I’m waiting somewhere — but mostly what I do is that I read them on my television screen on home. It’s very social.”
The ambition for the service, he explained, was that DC Universe would become an everyday part of the user’s media diet — with an emphasis on the “everyday” aspect.
“I believe that we’re creating something that will be a daily experience for people,” he said. “This is a win if this is so engaging that people come to it every day. We’re going to have new series at least once a week, a new episode at least once a week, and we’re going to have new shortform, scripted, non-scripted, behind-the-scenes content every day of the week. The comic book catalog will be updated regularly, the encyclopedia will be updated. There’s going to be tons of new content every day.”