Disney+ uses Oscar nominations for first live streaming test

Disney+, which has up to this point been a strictly video-on-demand platform, has begun to dabble in live content.

The company this morning performed a test for live streaming capabilities on Disney+ in the U.S. with the 2022 Academy Award nominations and made it sound like more live content testing could be in the works for the platform.

“We are pleased with the results and will continue to test as part of our ongoing and iterative approach to deliver the best user experiences to consumers,” said a Disney+ spokesperson.

Disney’s streaming service portfolio already includes live content. ESPN+ has been offering live streaming access to UFC events and Hulu offers a virtual multichannel service with access to live events. In the U.S., Disney+ has not been part of Disney’s live content strategy but that’s not the case for similar services in other markets.

RELATED: Disney debuts Star+ in Latin America

Star+ in Latin America ropes in ESPN content including local and European soccer leagues, U.S. and Mexican pro baseball and a localized version of SportsCenter. According to What’s On Disney Plus, Disney+ recently added an ESPN event link to its code in manner similar to how live events are run on Star+ in Latin America.

Of course, there are other uses besides sports for live streaming on Disney+. As CNET points out, the technology could present opportunities for showing Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar or other red-carpet events, or maybe the Academy Awards themselves, which will be televised on ABC in March.

Disney last year revealed that it expects its total content budget will increase by $8 billion year over year, reaching a total of $33 billion. That projected figure covers produced and licensed content including sports rights. Disney said the increase is driven by higher spending to support its direct-to-consumers services including Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+, and assumes there won’t be any significant production disruptions due to COVID-19.