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Cordcutters were eager to hear the details of Disney’s new streaming service this week. Disney+ launches Nov. 12 in the U.S. with a large library of family favorites for $6.99/month or $69.99/year. It’s not just for those nostalgic for the entertainment that defined their childhood, though. In a move to take on the well-established Netflix, Disney’s lineup looks strong.
The impressive content library for the new service begins with 100 recent films in the collection of more than 500 movies and 7,500 television episodes. Cord-cutting fans are eager to get their hands on the new service, which includes hits from Star Wars, Pixar, and Marvel properties.
With an already well-established catalog of content, Disney+ is also pumping millions into original content to boost new subscribers for the streaming service. Expect to see more than ten original movies and 25 shows published in the first year, including a live-action Lady and the Tramp.
While the Disney+ price structure is very affordable, no one is going to cancel Netflix in favor of Disney. Many consumers subscribe to multiple over-the-top providers. The question becomes whether the consumer market can sustain Disney+ in addition to Netflix. Will Disney+ be the streaming service that pushes consumers over the edge into FlixFatigue? Viewers already struggle with the volume of content available, and with so many launches slated for new streaming services this year, Disney+ could get lost in the chaos.
Disney’s choice to provide 4K HDR quality at less than half the price of an equivalent Netflix plan severely undercuts the more established service. Netflix’s announcement day stock losses were so steep that the company lost $7.2 billion in market value on the day.
Although the Disney+ library is formidable, I don’t think it will cause an exodus from Netflix. Netflix can’t ignore what Disney is doing, but has years of experience and branding on their side, not to mention subscriber numbers and Emmy and Oscar awards. Worst case, Netflix might slow in subscriber growth, but I wouldn’t expect a mass cancellation.
Disney’s family-friendly content is certainly evergreen, but experience shows that subscribers come for new content. As subscription fatigue starts to settle in and people prune their over-the-top fees, I think Disney will find it harder than expected to keep up with Netflix’s broad worldwide subscriber base and content agreements.
Megan Southard is a writer, mom, technology enthusiast, and movie junkie. She dreads the day her kids have to explain gadgets to her and is old enough to say, "I was the remote for our TV growing up."
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