DC Unveils Details of DC Universe Streaming Service

DCU will feature original TV programming, as well as digital comics, news reports and films like 'Batman Begins' and Christopher Reeve's 'Superman.'

DC Entertainment has released the first details about its long-promised streaming service DC Universe, and the scope of what’s on offer may surprise some.

Not only will there be original television and animated series based on DC’s characters, on top of a library of shows and movies spanning decades, but it will also serve up digital comic books, a storefront for exclusive merchandise, all-new DC-centric encyclopedia and ways for fans to connect and interact.

Described as a “first-of-its-kind digital subscription service,” DC Universe is intended to be a one-stop shop for the audience’s DC needs, whether its comics, movies or television. “DC Universe is so much more than a streaming service,” said DC publisher and chief creative officer Jim Lee in a statement. “It’s a welcoming place for everyone to immerse themselves in their own level of DC fandom, with the epic characters, stories and experiences they have come to expect from DC.”

He went on, “We are investing in and creating original, high-quality shows including the new Titans series, and curating the most beloved nostalgic content, while at the same time elevating the comic reading experience to new heights. Nothing this robust has ever been offered to fans before.”

Craig Hunegs, president, Warner Bros. Digital Networks — which developed the new service, launching this fall across iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Android TV, in addition to offering online and mobile access — doubled down on the breaking new ground aspect in his own statement.

“Developing new ways for consumers to access some of our most popular and iconic brands and franchises as well as exclusive, new content whenever they want, on the devices they choose, is one of our studio's top priorities,” he said. “The DC Universe platform gives fans a place to tailor their experience and build a direct relationship with DC in a way they never could before.”

What does that mean in practice? For many, the most important aspect of the service will be the original television content available exclusively on DCU: the already-announced live-action shows Titans, Doom Patrol and Swamp Thing, as well as animated series Young Justice: Outsiders and Harley Quinn.

There will also be a collection of live-action and animated library content from DC’s back catalogue available, including Batman Begins, the Christopher Reeve Superman movies, the 1990s Lois & Clark television series and animated offerings including the fan-favorite Batman: The Animated Series and Super Friends shows, alongside the DC Universe direct-to-home-release animated features of recent years.

The service will also offer a digital comic reader, offering what’s described as “a curated selection of thousands of DC comics” from the company’s publishing history, from the first appearance of Superman in 1938’s Action Comics No. 1 through 2011’s relaunches of Justice League, Swamp Things and Harley Quinn. The library will change throughout time, with DC referring to the portfolio of titles as “rotating selections,” and the titles will be accessible across multiple devices.

Additionally, DC Universe will include a community space — including a forum for fan discussions — an online store, offering exclusive merchandise from DC Collectibles, and a DC encyclopedia to help newcomers and long-term fans alike keep track of their favorite characters and concepts.

In a "Breaking News" section, updated reports will announce new projects and details about existing DC properties. Another section will give members dibs on exclusive rewards, from early-access to specific events, video game unlocks and more.

DC Universe will be managed by former senior vp direct-to-consumer for DC Entertainment, and current general manager and senior vp at Warner Bros. Digital Network, Sam Ades. The service is scheduled to launch in beta mode in August (Fans can register for beta access here), with a full rollout later in the year.