In August 2018, Disney released a mysterious poster with its logo and a plus sign at the center, along with the logos of its smaller branches such as Marvel and Pixar. A few days later, the entertainment conglomerate announced plans to design its own streaming network that would challenge other high-end streamers in the same market. On Sept. 13, this new streaming service was named “Disney+”, and the public was able to catch a glimpse of the previews of original shows soon to be released on the new platform.
“When I first heard that Disney had ideas of launching its own video streaming service, I was a little skeptical,” said Matthew Kim (10), an avid Netflix user. “However, when Disney announced that an assortment of original Marvel programs was in production, that made me sit up and listen. If all Marvel and Pixar content is wiped off of Netflix, I do not think many people will continue to be supportive and Netflix will definitely see a dip in their subscriber count.”
Disney+ will be launched on Nov. 12, and it has been reported that the streaming service will cost $7 a month; this estimate aroused the public’s interest, as the unveiled price is almost half of the $13.99 monthly price of Netflix. According to Disney+, it intends to stream works from many of its flagship brands, such as Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars, and National Geographic. With Disney’s decision to stream content from its subsidiary organizations, many previous shows from these franchises have been removed from Netflix, resulting in a loss of more than 2.7 million subscribers. Furthermore, Disney has revealed that it is also in the process of producing an original series that will directly relate to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, exclusively available on Disney +. Another deal Disney+ is offering to the public is a bundle pack for a monthly fee of $12.99, which includes ESPN+ and Hulu.
“The price point being almost half of Netflix’s urged me to lean towards Disney+ as well, and especially for people like me who enjoy watching sports, the bundle pack including ESPN+ is an amazing deal, too,” said Hannah Yoo (11), executive manager of the Media Club. “However, this whole situation is still a conflict for me because I want both streaming services. Although Disney+ is in the works now and many people are leaning towards this new program, it cannot be denied that Netflix produces numerous entertaining shows as well.”
Although Netflix is enjoyed by many subscribers for its original shows and movies, Disney’s package deal containing services from other media businesses is a reminder of Disney’s expansive control in the media industry that differentiates it from Netflix’s independent service. Disney has topped the US box office for the past three consecutive years, surpassing Warner Brothers, which is now a part of AT&T. Disney earned $7.33 billion worldwide in 2018, a number second only to its own all-time record at $7.61 billion achieved in 2016. On the other hand, numerous fans have continued to show their support and appreciation for Netflix, which was the basis for the video streaming industry’s success at the onset of its creation. Currently, Disney+ and Netflix are engaged in a rivalry for the domination of the market, and only time will tell who the victor of this highly-publicized race will be.
“I think Disney’s own streaming platform will bring a huge change to the industry,” said Shane Meiklejohn, advisor of the Media Club. “Because so many people anchor their childhood to Disney, releasing old content would definitely spark the public’s interest. No one wants to miss out on the exclusive Marvel show or the new Star Wars spinoff that Disney will most likely drop as soon as the streaming site launches. This new production from Disney will definitely spark competition between other big names from the streaming market.”