Disney Plus tests livestreaming for first time with 2022 Oscar nominations

In a first for the service, Disney Plus livestreamed the announcement of the Academy Awards nominations.

Antonio Ruiz Camacho Former principal writer
Antonio Ruiz-Camacho was a principal writer covering personal finance. Prior to this, he was with Bankrate Credit Cards and CreditCards.com, where he led the editorial team for nearly five years. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Texas Monthly, Texas Highways, Salon and elsewhere. Also a fiction writer, he earned his MFA from the University of Texas at Austin's New Writers Project and is the author of the award-winning short story collection "Barefoot Dogs."
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Antonio Ruiz Camacho
Joan E. Solsman
2 min read
Encanto character Mirabel stand smiling at children in her village.

Disney's Encanto earned three Oscar nominations Tuesday.


Disney Plus tested its livestreaming capabilities for the first time Tuesday morning. The streaming service broadcast live the announcement of the 2022 Oscar nominations.

"We performed a test for live streaming capabilities on Disney+ in the U.S. with this morning's Academy Award nominations," the company said in a statement. "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."

The 94th annual Academy Awards nominations were hosted by actors Leslie Jordan (Will & Grace) and Tracee Ellis Ross (Blackish). Among the movies nominated for best picture were The Power of the Dog and West Side Story. Will Smith, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Stewart and Ariana DeBose were among those nominated for acting awards. The 2022 Oscars ceremony will air live in the US on ABC on Sunday, March 27, at 5 p.m. PT (8 p.m. ET).

Up until now, the concept of Disney Plus has been much like Netflix, the world's largest subscription service by members: Lots of entertainment programming to watch on-demand, but no live events, live sports or news programming. By testing its first livestream, Disney is formally opening the technological door to new TV formats on the service -- think Marvel movie red-carpet event coverage live, for example.

Livestreams may also become important as Disney experiments with the relationship between Disney Plus and its other streaming services, Hulu and ESPN Plus. Currently, the three services are separate, although you can pay for them with one bill in a discounted bundle. 

Having the ability to livestream events like the Oscar ceremony would give Disney Plus a competitive advantage over streaming giants like Netflix. Disney Plus hit 118.1 million members as of early October; it's slated to reveal its latest subscriber stats Wednesday. That compares to Netflix's 221.8 million subscribers at the end of 2021.

Disney Plus didn't immediately respond to a request for additional comment.