The Walt Disney Company revealed its Disney+ video streaming service will be available in the UK and seven other Western European markets a week earlier than initially planned, as it continues to strive for a leading position in the highly competitive global streaming business.

It announced the service will launch in the UK, Republic of Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, and Switzerland on 24 March. In the UK, a montly plan will cost £5.99, with an annual subscription priced £59.99.

In the other European countries pricing will be €6.99 per month or €69.99 per year.

The streaming service will expand to other markets in the region, including Belgium, the Nordics and Portugal around the middle of the year.

Subscribers will gain access to key brands including Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic. Disney+ will also offer exclusive feature-length films, series, documentaries and short-form content. Users can access the service on mobile phones, smart TVs, game consoles and streaming media players.

The video streaming service marked a solid start with 22 million downloads globally in its first month of availability, data from analytics company Apptopia showed.

In a recent report, App Annie stated nearly 25 per cent of Netflix’s iPhone users also used Disney+ in Q4 2019, which marked the highest overlap of users among top video streaming apps in the US.