There's one big difference that separates Disney+'s original shows from those on its streaming rival Netflix: the opening credits, or lack thereof. For years, Netflix has served as the world's leading streaming service, though it has faced competition from rivals like Hulu and Amazon Prime Video. The latest platform to join the streaming wars is the House of Mouse's Disney+, which finally launched this week.
Disney+ is already packed with content. At launch, Disney+ has an impressive library of over 300 movies and 7,000 television shows that encompasses properties from Disney itself, Pixar, Lucasfilm, Marvel Studios, and 20th Century Fox. Disney+ features content both old and new, which goes as far back as the 1930s. The service will also become the home of a long list of original programming, which includes TV shows from the world of Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. A monthly subscription to Disney+ costs $6.99 a month, while a yearly subscription costs $69.99. Alternatively, it can be purchased in a bundle with ESPN+ and Hulu for a monthly price of $12.99.
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With all that, Disney+ is very clearly a direct competitor to Netflix, but it's marking itself out as different in an interesting way. Original series on Netflix include an opening credits sequence. Netflix mandates that these intros be present in all of their shows, even though they can be easily avoided with the "Skip Intro" button. What's different about Disney+ is that their programs don't have intros. For instance, The Mandalorian introduces itself with a title and no opening credits sequence of any kind.
This allows viewers to jump right into the meat of the show without any early delays or interruptions, which is practice used by other popular shows in the past, like Lost. There are a couple of different reasons as to why Netflix insist on opening credits. The majority of intro titles on Netflix are designed to create a sense of ambiance, which is in line with the service's attempts to mirror a cable outfit (similar to how its shows would always have 13 episodes). They create a mood and seem prestigious, even though Netflix still recognizes many viewers want to skip. They also help provide structure for certain episodes, with some intros well-timed for a specific point. This is one thing that Disney+ does differently to Netflix, but of course not the only aspect that sets the two platforms apart.
First of all, Disney+ is family-oriented in terms of its content, which doesn't go beyond a PG-13 rating. Netflix, on the other hand, has developed a reputation for more adult-themed shows. Another way that Disney+ is doing its own thing is how it releases its shows. Disney has adopted a much more traditional model when it comes to its release schedule. Netflix always releases entire seasons at once, whereas Disney has decided against embracing the binge-watching formula. Instead, Disney+ releases all of its original shows on a weekly basis, which is another major change from the Netflix format.