With just three months to go until Disney launch their fancy new streaming service; Disney plus, its important to break down the effects this will have on pre-standing services such as Amazon Prime video and Netflix. Where exactly will this service place companies in the ‘race’ to consumerism media?
Lets take it back to 2007, when a forward thinking company known as Move Network combined HTTPS (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) with online streaming to give audiences across the world a faster and more reliable streaming application. In February of 2007, the US company many of us now own, Netflix moved away from its DVD delivery service, of which it had started in 1997, to focus on a more advanced series of publications; online streaming. That was only a mere twelve years ago. It’s hard to remember that the internet many of us use daily, didn’t exist in the format we use it in today. In those early days, social media also played a crucial role in pushing these platforms into our every day sequence. With Facebook popping up in February of 2004, Twitter in March of 2006, and the ever dated MySpace in August of 2003, social media was in prime position to increase not only the sales of Netflix, Amazon and Blockbuster, but to bring it to a whole new audience.
In the midst of Netflix and Amazon, we were also given Google Video (2005), YouTube (2005) and Hulu (2008), all of which, even though in competition, have built each other up due to the demand the public now require. This elemental demand is more current now than its ever been before, and it doesn’t exactly represent a company making content for its viewers enjoyment, it suggests, like anything, money is at the centre. A prime example of this, is the vast amounts of Netflix Originals, such as 13 Reasons why. They seem to be quantity over quality, all in a bid to not loose their audience to another streaming service in the three months they wait for a new season. Yet alas, it is working. I’ll admit that I will sit down and continue to watch these somewhat questionable shows, purely because I’m invested in these characters and stories from the stronger openings they exhibited with.
This now leaves the question of where Disney+ will fit into all of this. Announced in September of 2017, the world has had two years to patiently wait for this service to drop, and it will on the 12th of November in the US, Western Europe and Canada, adding further parts of the world in early 2020. Costing around $67.00 a year (roughly £60) its a lot cheaper than Amazon’s $119.00 annually and Netflix’s $108.00 annual fee for its *very* basic first plan. Already, Disney+ will have people switching over because of the almost half amount of fee costs a year. In a clever move, Disney have removed all Disney made films off Netflix to move over to Disney+, which will ultimately bring over their main audience; families and children, but why stop there? Disney took the time and money to buy off large companies such as BAMtech in 2016, in 2017 they contracted themselves to buy out 20th Century Fox, a deal which closed in 2019. In 2009 they perhaps made their best sale yet, Marvel was handed over to the Walt Disney Company in 2009 and in 2012 Disney bought Lucasfilm and essentially Star Wars. The bid to launch Disney+ has been a long and sophisticated process in terms of its content. It’s no surprise to anyone that Marvel are the highest grossing films in our current cinematic pattern, they are well written and shot. This substantial franchise will play a key role in bringing in a whole different category of audiences to Disney+ as it launches in November.
With Disney dominating blockbuster cinema, should there be a fear for Netflix, HBO, Hulu and Amazon? Well, no. Each of these streaming sites is home to very good and well made content that already has a substantial audience at it’s feet. Amazon is leading with The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, while Netflix dominates science fiction nostalgic horror with Stranger Things. These are shows that won’t feel the competition of Disney+ for a very long time.
Disney took the opportunity at Comic Con last month to announce the next line up in Marvel films, as well as, various series uploading themselves onto the platform on launch day, such as Vision and Wanda, The Falcon and the Winter solider and original Star Wars films exclusive to the app. Hopefully as launch day rolls nearer, we’ll have some official line up/program released. With the annual D23-Expo kicking off on the 23rd of this month, we’re likely to see some important figures and details that will hopefully kick start this exciting venture into the future of online streaming.