Netflix quickly took over the film and TV industry with a streaming service that made consuming media content more convenient than ever before. You didn’t have to go out to a movie theater, you didn’t have to go out to a video rental place and pore through shelves of DVDs, you didn’t have to tune in to a TV station at a specific time on a specific day to watch your favorite show – the future of entertainment had arrived.
This year, Disney will be taking on Netflix with their own streaming service called Disney+. How will the streaming war play out? Well, let's take a look.
10 Can’t beat Netflix: Netflix was there from the beginning
We’re living in the age of streaming. Streaming is the future. It’s how we consume media content now. And when people think of streaming, they think of Netflix. The saying is “Netflix and chill.” There’s no “Amazon Prime and chill” or “Hulu and chill.” Those expressions don’t exist.
Netflix caught lightning in a bottle with their streaming service, completely changing the way people watch TV, and now every company is playing catch-up. Disney is just the latest to join the race. Disney will undoubtedly take the world by storm with their streaming service, but Netflix will still be the last word in streaming.
9 Can beat Netflix: It’s cheaper
A subscription to Disney+ will cost just $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year (which, mathematically, is $13.89 a year cheaper than paying monthly). Netflix is more expensive than that and the prices keep going up as they sink more and more money into original movies (they spent $90 million on everyone’s favorite movie Bright, while they’ve spent upwards of $200 million on Martin Scorsese’s latest crime epic).
The basic plan currently stands at $9 a month, while HD viewing on two devices costs $13 a month and the premium plan is $16 a month. A Disney+ subscription costs a fraction of that.
8 Can’t beat Netflix: People are already subscribed to Netflix
The main problem with Disney taking on Netflix is that Netflix has already been around for years and has millions of subscribers across the world. If Netflix and Disney were entering the streaming war at the same time, it would be a completely different story.
Now, if consumers who are already subscribed to Netflix are considering signing up to Disney+, they’ll have to decide if it’s worth adding the cost of the Disney+ subscription on top of their Netflix subscription fees, or if they’ll consider cancelling their Netflix subscription and replacing it with Disney+. It’s just not a fair fight.
7 Can beat Netflix: Disney’s got all the best movies
Disney+ will have all of the movies owned by Disney, which is basically all the best movies: the MCU, the entire Star Wars saga (including the new “Anthology” spin-off movies), every movie Pixar has ever made, the whole back catalogue of Disney animated movies, and all the new live-action remakes of them.
Also, with NBCUniversal, Warner Bros., and countless other studios creating their own streaming services and taking their most popular stuff back from Netflix to put on there, sooner or later, all Netflix will be left with is its own original content and it’ll be a level playing field.
6 Can’t beat Netflix: Disney is 'for kids'
Over the past century or so, Disney has painstakingly defined itself as the leading producer of family-friendly movies and TV shows. Their best work, like the MCU and Pixar movies, have a universal appeal and can be enjoyed by both children and adults. Sometimes, though, adult audiences want to watch a movie or TV show with swearing and violence and other adult themes, like House of Cards or Black Mirror.
You can’t survive on Disney fairytales alone, and that’s all Disney+ will have. In Disney’s defense, they have thought of this, and they’ll be using their majority share of Hulu to answer the consumers’ demands for grown-up entertainment.
5 Can beat Netflix: Their original content slate is very enticing
A few weeks ago, Disney announced their slate of original content for Disney+, and it all sounds too great to miss out on. They’re making a Phineas and Ferb movie, pretty much just because they can. They’re making a TV adaptation of the High School Musical franchise... pretty much just because they can.
They’re also making a series set in the Star Wars universe following a Boba Fett-like bounty hunter, and a ton of MCU shows that will actually tie into the movies (unlike all the shows on Netflix, Hulu, Freeform, and ABC). To top it all off, some of the live-action remakes of their old animated classics will skip the theatrical release and go straight to Disney+. If Disney+ is the only place to get all this stuff, then that might be worth the subscription cost alone.
4 Can beat Netflix: Disney has plenty of capital
While Netflix has to keep raising subscription prices to ensure quarterly profits for their shareholders, Disney has enough capital from their box office dominion and merchandising empire to be able to sink billions of dollars into their streaming service without breaking the bank.
Having more money doesn’t always guarantee a better product or more customers, but it does give Disney an advantage over Netflix. When Disney were licensing their movies and TV shows to Netflix, they were reportedly making hundreds of millions of dollars from them. So, they wouldn’t spend billions if they didn’t think they were going to make billions back.
3 Can’t beat Netflix: Netflix has a lot more content
Disney+ will reportedly consist of around 400 to 500 feature films and a whopping 7,000 episodes of television, which sounds like a lot. However, according to a study, Netflix has more than five times as many TV shows and eight times as many movies.
Of course, since Disney has the rights to pretty much all of the most popular movies ever made (and the rights to the rest of the most popular movies ever made are reverting to their own studios who are creating their own streaming services), it might eventually become a matter of quantity over quality. Viewers would rather have access to 22 Marvel movies than 176 Z-list horror movies.
2 Can beat Netflix: It’s Disney!
When has Disney ever made a bad business decision? When someone is beating them, they just buy them out. They bought Lucasfilm and made back more than the entire worldwide box office haul of 20th Century Fox’s original Star Wars trilogy with just one movie. They saw that Pixar had replaced them as the first name in animated movies, so they simply bought Pixar.
They saw that Marvel Studios had dominated the box office, so they simply bought Marvel Studios. They even just bought a bunch of Fox’s creative assets and will rake in their profits from now on. Heck, a few years down the line, who knows? Disney might buy Netflix.
1 Can’t beat Netflix: It’s trying to beat Netflix
When something groundbreaking comes along, everybody with the means tries to copy it in an attempt to replicate its success and eventually beat it. Every time this happens, the copycats fail. In the past few years, since the MCU dominated the film industry and basically became the whole reason there are still movie theaters, every production company with the rights to more than one intellectual property has tried to build its own cinematic universe to beat the MCU.
The only successful ones, like The Conjuring or Legendary’s MonsterVerse, haven’t been trying to beat the MCU. Amazon Prime and Hulu have succeeded because they haven’t tried to beat Netflix. They’ve been happy to exist as the secondary streaming services. Disney is gunning for Netflix’s throne, which could lead to its failure.