Streaming Wars

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Streaming Wars

With less than a week before Disney+ comes out, here’s everything to know about Disney, Netflix, and the ensuing battle for streaming supremacy.

Disney shocked the entertainment industry last April when they announced the coming of their streaming service Disney+. Over the last couple of years, the current streaming king, Netflix, has poured millions of dollars into original content and locking up talent deals in preparation for Disney+. Both services have their positives and negatives, but it is clear that Disney’s goal is to boot Netflix. Here is a look at the specific characteristics of each platform and a prediction for who will win the streaming war.

Disney+

Disney made it clear from the start that every business decision made was meant to exploit a weakness at Netflix. For starters, Disney+ will premier with a cost of $6.99 per month which is just above half of Netflix’s monthly cost. Content wise, Disney+ is packing heat. While they probably won’t have the same value of titles as Netflix (at least not at first) Disney+ will carry basically every Disney produced movie and TV show ever, spanning from the original Snow White film to the new Star Wars trilogy and the entirety of Pixar. Disney+ is also beginning to make original content for the service, which includes the live action Star Wars show “The Mandalorian” and the Marvel Studios shows “Falcon and Winter Soldier”, “Loki”, “Wanda and Vision”, “What if?”, and “Hawkeye”, which are said to be necessary to the MCU storyline. Additionally, Disney’s recent purchase of 20th Century Fox means that Disney has access to Fox’s vault of content including “The Simpsons”. All 663 episodes of “The Simpsons”.

Netflix

And there lies Netflix’s main issue: franchising. Since its inception Netflix has relied heavily on the licensing of classic TV shows like “Friends” and “The Office”. With the latter officially leaving the service and the cost to keep other classic shows getting higher, Netflix is turning hard into original content. Netflix can sometimes feel like a quantity over quality business, but Netflix has a handful of shows that aren’t going anywhere and will keep its current viewers like “Orange is the New Black”, “Black Mirror”, “Ozark”, “GLOW”, “The Crown” and of course “Stranger Things”. Despite this, Netflix is going to have an uphill battle.

This is being framed as a sort of “battle of the titans” where one will vanquish the other, but I just don’t see that. I think that Disney+ will likely have more viewers and be more profitable but I think Netflix is to deeply rooted in today’s pop culture that it simply can’t be upstaged.   

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