What does Disney+ Have to Offer the streaming Market?

by Jasleen Munsalud

On April 11, Disney announced its new streaming service. Disney+ will be launching in the United States later this year on November 12. The company made the big announcement at its Investor Day in Burbank, California.

Disney+ is expected to have film and television content from Disney’s entertainment studios, such as Walt Disney Pictures, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar, Marvel, National Geographic, and Lucasfilm. In other words, there will be something for everyone on Disney+, from action-adventure hits such as “The Avengers” to beloved classics such as “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” Disney+ will also have all 30 seasons of “The Simpsons,” which Disney acquired through 21st Century Fox. To get the gist of just how much content is going to be on Disney+, here are a couple of numbers: 500 films, 25 original series, 10 original films and specials, and 7,500 episodes of TV shows. Disney+ can definitely boast an exceptional content platform, one strong enough to compete in a saturated market.  

The public has Disney’s plans for a streaming service since 2017 when Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed that Marvel and Star Wars movies will be leaving Netflix and joining Disney’s service, which was already set to launch in 2019. For the first time, people can watch Disney movies and shows from a platform that has it all in one place. This has Disney fans waiting with great anticipation and expectation for November 12. On that day, the service will be accessible from its website, disneyplus.com, but also from smart TVs and streaming devices such as Roku and PlayStation.

What does this mean for other streaming services like Netflix? Many people are guessing that Disney+ will become a worthy competitor against existing streaming services. Subscriptions for the service will cost consumers only $6.99 a month, cheaper than even Netflix’s most basic plan at $8.99 a month. Disney+ in the US will also be available for an annual plan for $69.99 a year, which works out to be about $5.83 a month, even cheaper than the monthly plan. Not to mention that Disney+ will be free from any ads. Considering how much content will be available on the platform, this is a shocking starting price. When asked why Disney made Disney+’s subscription price so low, Iger said it was to reach as many consumers as possible, according to Variety. Starting with a low price was definitely the way to make it more accessible to people. By pricing it below Netflix’s subscription plans, many consumers will be swayed into crossing over to Disney+. Disney CFO Christine McCarthy estimates that there will be 60-90 million subscribers around the world for Disney+ by the end of its first two years. Today, Netflix has about 139 million subscribers.

Others believe that Netflix doesn’t have much to be afraid of. There is no argument that Disney+ will be popular enough to take some of Netflix’s subscribers, but Netflix is a global force that has a lot to offer on its own. Netflix offers existing TV shows and movies, but also supplies its own successful original content, such as “Stranger Things” and “Orange is the New Black.” They’ve also shown their willingness to keep content that consumers want when, according to The Guardian, they paid $100 million to keep “Friends” for one more year on the service after receiving backlash for the show’s announced removal. Netflix spends a lot of money on their content, which in turn leads to increasing subscription prices, but that hasn’t stopped the company from growing its consumer base. They have gained a whopping 29 million subscribers in 2018 according to CNBC. Netflix isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, even with the threat of Disney+ becoming a huge success. In addition, with Disney+’s low prices, the platform will be operating at a loss for its first couple of years on the market, in the hopes that they can catch up to Netflix. Estimates are showing that the service will not make any profit until 2024, five years after its launch.

Despite its late appearance to the streaming industry, there is no doubt that people will subscribe to Disney+. There has never been a platform where people could watch every Disney television show or movie before. The fan bases surrounding each Disney show or movie guarantees that many people will buy the service. Disney itself is a huge corporation, dipping its toes in all sorts of industries, from theme parks to cruise lines to hotels. Now with a streaming service, the company itself is expanding. The hype for Disney+ is not surprising at all. If anything, it’s about time that fans could have the ability to watch any of their favorite movies on a Disney streaming service, and now they won’t have to wait much longer.