Disney+ and the Streaming War


Disney recently released new details for its upcoming streaming service, coming this November, which will include, on top of its original Disney properties, movies and tv shows from its acquired studios Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, National Geographic, and 20th Century Fox. All of this will come at a price point of $7.99/month. There will also be an optional $12.99 bundle for Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+. Compared to Netflix’s most popular offering of $12.99, this is an aggressive play by Disney. Disney and Netflix aren’t the only ones in the race to get consumer’s attention either. Apple TV+, HBO Max, and NBC-Universal streaming services are all expected to hit later this Fall and next year.

This raises the all-important question: will consumers cut the chord on cable and opt for more streaming content?

In 2018, adults who cancelled traditional TV services and did not resubscribe reached to an extraordinary 33 million. This is continuing to put streaming services at the forefront of entertainment. Now that more and more consumers are heading toward streaming, this also puts the decision on consumers to decide which content they want. With cable, you had access to every tv show; now, you will either have to pay for multiple streaming services or simply decide which one gives you the best content for the best price point. It doesn’t make sense for you to keep HBO if the only thing you watch is Game of Thrones. Netflix was once the powerhouse of streaming, but now we’re seeing  The Office and Friends, two of their most popular tv shows, leaving for HBO Max and NBC-Universal. Then which streaming service will have the most popular content? It seems Disney. So far this year, Disney has gained about 40% of the domestic gross earnings, releasing 5 billion dollar movies from Avengers: Endgame to The Lion King. On top of that, it seems audiences are becoming increasingly interested in Disney’s original content that will appear exclusively on their streaming service. A new Star Wars series, The Mandalorian, and a live-action Lady and the Tramp will be available as soon as the platform hits. Marvel is also releasing tv shows exclusive to the service, from a Falcon and the Winter Soldier team-up series to a What If… ? show with episodes offering scenarios that would have changed the Marvel Cinematic Universe, such as an episode in which Steve Rogers hadn’t become Captain America. It seems Disney+ will lead the explosion of new streaming services, with Apple TV+, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and NBC-Universal competing for audiences’ attention. With more and more content leaving Netflix, it seems the service will have to rely on originals of their own. Apple TV+ will rely on high-name talent, such as Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg, to gain popular attention. Now the question comes to the consumer whether or not they want their entertainment bill to go up to watch the new seasons of Stranger Things and keep up with the Avengers.