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When Disney announced its plans to launch Disney+, the internet went wild. So many people were born into the Disney world of entertainment, including the media companies owned under the Disney corporate umbrella. People started pre-ordering subscriptions to the competitively priced service and speculation regarding the variety of content that would be provided immediately began. Now that Disney+ has finally launched, many early subscribers are pleasantly surprised to find a wealth of their favorite content right at their fingertips.
If you’ve ever used a video streaming service before, Disney+ won’t be difficult to navigate. More or less, it’s Netflix. The user interface is nearly identical, and in the ways it’s different, it’s superior. Disney allows you to browse by network titles and collections. The experience is curated for users, centered around a very common sense approach. Marvel titles are grouped together and animated Disney princess titles are grouped together, making it easy (even for children) to find what they’re looking for and easily browse a bundle of their interests.
This algorithm will continue to learn users’ viewing habits and perfect its ability to curate content for each member of the family. Netflix has a similar system, showing users how closely a new title aligns with titles they’re previously rated positively. It’s too early to tell how Disney+’s algorithm will compare – it’s still learning its users and only time can aid that process.
How Disney+ Stacks Up Against Other Platforms
Disney+’s library is very small and very niche. User should have been able to reasonably assume that going in. Disney+ currently offers 7,500 episodes of former shows and 500 movie titles to stream. Netflix boasts over 4,000 movie titles and over 1,500 shows in their entirety, bringing the number of episodes exponentially higher, somewhere closer to 40,000. Hulu’s library is also substantially larger, with estimates of about 1,650 shows and 2,500 movies, although they have never confirmed hard data about their library.
Even though Disney+ is a new platform, it still doesn’t have a robust catalog. If options are important to you and you don’t want to feel boxed in by content all belonging to the same company, Disney+ is not going to scratch an important itch for you. This may change with time, although Disney has not made a formal announcement regarding how much more content they intend to add as the platform grows.
Content Exclusive to Disney+
Most of Disney+’s exclusives are 4k remastered or cleaned up versions of classics. They’re movies you’ve already seen before, but they look better than they ever have. The experience has changed, but the content is still the same.
Disney intends to introduce a total of 30 original series in its first year. Some, like the highly anticipated “The Mandalorian”, a Star Wars series designed to bridge gaps between the back and forth timelines of prequels and sequels, are already airing. The World According to Jeff Goldblum has also seen excellent reviews from critics and audiences.
It goes without saying that both Netflix and Hulu have a substantially greater amount of exclusive content and originals. A lot of this has to do with the amount of time that both competing platforms have had to build their libraries and bring their ideas to the small screen.
Disney+’s Somewhat Shady, Somewhat Sinister Plan
Disney+ has the advantage in the fact that they took all their brands with them. Fans of Daredevil and The Punisher on Netflix will recall that both shows were incredible and received with wild enthusiasm critics and the public. Everyone loved them both, but they were cancelled just a few seasons each into their respective runs. They weren’t cancelled because the viewers lost interest – the viewers lost their minds when they received the news. They were cancelled because Disney owns Marvel and wanted to pull and reserve all Marvel properties for Disney+.
Contract stipulations require that a certain number of years must pass before anyone can begin to develop content with either character again. When the time limit runs out, Matt Murdock and Frank Castle immediately go back to becoming Disney property. They cannot so much as whisper about their intentions regarding these characters, as they’re legally bound not to, but it only seems reasonable to assume we haven’t seen the last of these beloved cash grabs.
It’s safe to expect that Disney and all of their brands (like Marvel and Star Wars) are going to be exclusively available on Disney+, meaning that people who want to watch these titles or follow these shows will also need to add a Disney+ membership to their monthly bills. The price of other streaming services will not go down just because Disney has pulled out. For many people, Disney’s move to create Disney+ is only going to cost them more money and line Disney’s pockets. The consumer isn’t getting a “better deal” – Disney is simply making more money.
Is It Worth It?
Disney+ ultimately offers a lot less than the majority of other video streaming services, but it’s also priced a lot lower. Users would have no reason to feel like they’re ripped off for what they’re getting, because they’re ultimately paying a fraction of the price for a fraction of the library.
Disney+ comes with a small price tag, but when everything is taken into consideration, the low monthly fee is actually more of a reasonable monthly fee than a steal. If you have to buy a Disney+ membership to supplement your other video streaming subscriptions because your favorite content left to become Disney+ exclusive, then you’re obviously not making out well.
Disney+ will be more worth it to some people than to others. Die hard Star Wars and Marvel fans may opt to become Disney+ users so they can access their favorite titles on demand. If you don’t often find yourself craving Disney branded content or you don’t have children in your household, Disney+ may not be a wise investment for you. Consider how much from their library you would actually enjoy before you sign up.