With a solid price point and giving a whole new meaning to the term “Premium Content,” Disney Plus is slated to give Netflix some major competition. What will it take for Disney to overtake and outlast the streaming giant?
Netflix is no stranger to competition. Services like Hulu and Amazon’s Prime Video have done well to differentiate themselves from the streaming giant, and by creating original content, have really stepped up to the plate in providing Netflix with some real competition. As November approaches, though, executives at Netflix are undeniably anxious about a new competitor entering the fray – Disney Plus.
Until earlier this month, stark little was known about Disney’s new streaming service. The concept sounded nice when considering the vast amount of property Disney owns, from Disney classics like Cinderella and Pinocchio, Pixar favorites like Toy Story and Finding Nemo, and with more recent acquisitions of Marvel and Fox, Disney Plus was certainly going to be a formidable opponent in the streaming arena, but was that going to be enough to pull hordes of streamers away from the likes of Netflix?
Apparently, Bob Iger and friends thought not, and have an answer to the skeptics that think the Disney catalog is not a big enough draw of its own accord. Certainly, Disney commands loyalty amongst its fanbase, and if all they offered was their present catalog, their streaming platform I’m sure would find solid footing, but considering Netflix has command of cult-favorite television series like Friends, Cheers, or Gilmore Girls along with captivating original series, Disney Plus felt like it was leaving something to be desired.
On April 11th, Disney revealed it had a few tricks up its sleeve. First, at a price point of $7 per month, Disney is positioning its platform to be competitively priced, which is certainly a winning formula, but beyond that, Disney announced all 30 seasons of The Simpsons would be available on the streaming service. That’s pretty remarkable, but furthermore, to answer original content, introduction of original series in the Star Wars universe (The Mandalorian), and in the Marvel Universe series that will focus on Hawkeye, the Falcon, Scarlet Witch, Vision, and Loki that will be consequential to the greater MCU. Oh, we’re also getting a series based on Cassian Andor from Rogue One: A Star Wars story, so if you’re like me and wept at the thought of such a rich character was wasted on a lackluster film, weep no more. Cassian is back, folks!
So, I’m already all in with this announcement. Netflix has been slowly losing its appeal in my book, especially considering my affinity for Hulu, and with Amazon’s Prime Video soon acquiring the ability to be streamed via Chromecast, I don’t see a need for my Netflix account when Disney Plus becomes available, but still, I implore the folks at Disney to consider shaking up the way streaming services release content.
Netflix originals in recent years have delivered some of the most beloved series. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was not only hilarious, but also heartwarming. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina was a great drama. Stranger Things is not my thing, but it certainly has cast a wide net in its appeal. One Day at a Time was too pure for the streaming service to begin with. Still, Netflix shows all seem to be facing an inevitable problem of jumping the shark, or just eventually losing an audience en masse, and I believe this is entirely due to how these shows are distributed.
Everyone loves a good binge session, but when an entire season (which, by Netflix standards, we’re lucky to get even 13 episodes in a “season” of a series) drops on a random Friday evening, the season is over by Monday, and then all of a sudden, audiences have to wait a year for the next installment. By the time the next installment rolls around, audiences have only vague memories of the previous installment, and getting excited for the next binge session is difficult. For example, I devoured the first installment of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, but I’ve not seen a single episode of the second installment, which has been out for over a week.
I would much prefer to have these original series doled out week-by-week, so excitement can build over the course of a season. If a series goes by without capturing my attention initially, I’ll always be able to go back and binge after it’s been running for a while. Dropping an entire season at once kills a series because you can’t even discuss it with co-workers because you have no idea where someone else is in the season, so for fear of dropping spoilers, the conversation shuts down.
In short, Netflix’s formula is terrible, and Disney Plus is literally going to be the best thing ever. I can’t wait to binge Princess and the Frog on repeat over and over until the end of time.
By: Daniel Burkett