Disney Plus: What We Know So Far, Is Disney+ ready for the battle against Netflix & Hulu?
Not long after Disney announced its arrival as an OTT streaming serving, a statement came out from Netflix’s boss, Reed Hastings via BBC-
“We’ve been competing with Amazon for more than 10 years, so we’re used to healthy, strong competition, and it makes us better”
Experts are dubbing Disney’s streaming service as “Netflix Killer”.
Is it so?
Netflix is calling Disney’s streaming service a stiff competition, but nowhere have they seemed to call it a killer. It’s not just Disney, but other big names like Warner and Comcast are also in the list. By the end of 2019, we would most probably see these three streaming websites like Netflix signifying a major change in the market competition.
A market which was until now a monopoly of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu, would experience a shift in the power. However, everyone is keen on watching how this fray would be for Netflix and Disney.
After all, Disney has been supplying almost 20% of the content to the streaming giant. This also means that Netflix would lose over 30% of its content after Disney, Warner, and Comcast join the fray and make their content exclusive.
However, this would be a two-edged sword as Disney will also lose more than $150 million of its yearly revenue, which would come after licensing its content to various streaming platforms.
When Is Disney+ Launching & how much would it cost to the users?
Disney will launch on 12 November 2019 in the US. The details of the international release are still not out though.
Netflix is currently ruling the market even if its cheapest plan starts with $8.99/month in the US. Disney is aiming to disrupt the price war by offering its cheapest plan for as low as $6.99/month. This price difference of $2 is substantial to prove Disney is cheaper, at least in the US.
As per the global market is concerned, there is an upside down scenario. If we look at the Netflix business strategy in the developing countries, which have come as a fast-growing market in term of adoption, the giant has planned a different route there.
For example, Netflix is testing a much cheaper mobile-only plan in India for cut-rate of 250 Rupees/month ($3.6). Maybe, the user in the US might also see something like that in the upcoming year.
What Won’t Be On Disney+?
Disney would be a lot of other things. However, looking at the speculations, we can definitely conclude what it won’t be. Netflix mainly operates as a content aggregator. It acquires streaming rights from the content owners and streams them for a licensed period of time. In recent times, though Netflix is in great demand for its originals, it still works mainly with third-party content creators for most of its content.
However, the content on Disney would purely be Disney’s own originals. As a media house, the brand has acquired N number of titles and franchises. It has some great volume of popular content in its trunk. Titles like Toy Story, Frozen, Lion King, Star Wars, and Franchises like Marvel, 21st Century Fox, and Pixar.
So, we would be seeing everything on Disney’s streaming platform that comes under its undertaken titles and Franchises. This also includes the fact that Disney is starting its platform to cut the middlemen and serve their content directly to the consumers. So one can say they won’t be streaming the content from any third-party label.
Disney also owns the live streaming solution for sports streaming –ESPN, which it had acquired way back in 2018 itself. As an extension, we might see ESPN coming integrated with the Disney+, but that’s just speculation.
Why is Disney+ such a big deal?
Each day a new streaming service is joining the market, so why Disney+ is any different from the others? After all, open source video streaming platforms have made streaming so accessible to the public, what’s big in Disney’s venture?
As it is said. Content is the king. Disney itself is a massive repository of N number of popular titles and franchises. Its proprietary content ranges all the way from Animations, Sci-fi, and Thriller to Superhero movies. In short, people love watching Disney’s content.
Now, when Disney launches its platform, all its content that have been scattered throughout the internet on different platforms will become exclusive to the in-house streaming service Disney+. Disney has already started pulling-off its content from the third-party platforms.
Disney’s trunk holds many of the prominently loved content throughout history and today. This actively includes 20% of the content on Netflix and up to 60% business share in Hulu via its acquisition of the 21st Century Fox. Hence, we can be sure that Disney is indeed a big deal for at Netflix and Disney might still allow some of its content on Hulu because of its investments in the brand.
The same goes to every other streaming partner of Disney’s content throughout the globe. As it will expand to other countries, it will pull off all the content from other streaming services. Whether it is Foxtel Now in Australia or Hotstar and Jio Cinema in India, Disney will prefer pulling-off every other content from the local competitors.
Disney Vs Netflix vs Hulu
The market is still a playground for business with the best content. Users won’t pay just because you have a big name. There should be a value for money in the returns. That’s where every other platform that is co-existing get a chance to grab their share of the market.
Netflix is not going to give up. The current repository of more than 5,500 titles is still the favorite of a majority of the audience. With its TV shows, Web series, Originals, licensed movies, Documentaries and many more in the list, Netflix is not an easy competition for anyone joining the fray.
Netflix has been a popular choice and has made a great name in content production as well. Without Marvel, Disney, Fox, and Pixar, it still is a direct competitor to Disney. Netflix will have to come up with more originals exclusive to the platform, even if they would have to spend billions on creating the exclusive content.
However, that doesn’t mean, Disney will get a pass here. The legacy content of Disney and all its franchises will help it get a head start, but eventually, users will expect it to come up with exclusive originals as well. Just like Netflix, subscribers would want exclusive access to the content that cannot be found anywhere else.
As per Hulu is concerned, Disney has a major share of investment here. However, I am certain, Disney will not let its own platform compete with it’s another platform. Hence, the company will pull most of the content from Hulu as well.
As speculations are being made, Disney will expand Hulu to the international territories after it has complete control on the platform. We still can’t say about the availability of the content from other stakeholders like WarnerMedia (AT&T) and NBCUniversal (Comcast). Maybe, they would come up with some mutually beneficial deal.
What will be on Disney & Advantages?
Disney will have every other content in its proprietary on the platform. It will showcase all its legacy content from Star Wars, Animation movies, and superhero series. Besides that, it has canceled over a half a dozen Marvel shows from the Netflix. That means we are going to see the new seasons of the shows like Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Defenders, Jessica Jones, and The Punisher on Disney+ itself.
This will help Disney to acquire new users. As these titles are already loved by the masses, it would be a much easier task to attract the base to the new platform. This advantage will work in favor of the brand, especially in the beginning when it won’t have much of the originals to offer from the start. It’s like an already created base of users even before launching the platform.
What will be on Netflix & Advantages
Netflix will have everything else except for the content from Disney and its franchise. That means you will not find the content labeled as Walt Disney, Fox, and Pixar.
“As Warner and Comcast” have also announced their entry in the streaming market, let’s not ignore that fact that Netflix might also lose the legacy content form these two houses as well”.
What does it mean for Netflix?
Well, the biggest hit on Netflix is “Friends” and it is owned by Time Warner. Netflix paid $100 million to purchase its streaming rights for the year 2019. Netflix might just not get another extension of the show.
Besides that, Netflix might also lose NBC (Comcast) owned content like “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation,”. After the launch of an NBC owned streaming website like Netflix, the company would probably take away all its content from the giant.
Talking about the Netflix Originals, not every content that Netflix Labels as ‘Original’ is Netflix’s proprietary. For starters, the well-known Netflix originals like “The Crown,” “House of Cards” and “Ozark” were not produced by Netflix. Netflix paid production fees and also the licensing fee to use the content on its platform.
“Only 10 out of 100 Original on Netflix are actually their proprietary content”.
Considering Netflix’s boss’s statement, we can be certain that they are going to invest more on proprietary content and they have a plan for it.
Which One to Choose Netflix or Disney+ or Hulu
This is a tough question for two reasons. One, Disney is love and it has all the content we have grown seeing. We can’t deny the fact that the absence of Disney’s content on Netflix will make the platform thin. Two, this has become a trend; every popular media house is jumping into the streaming market, and this has made the cost of watching our favorite content much bulkier.
Not everyone can afford to subscribe Hulu, Disney+, Netflix, Warner, NBC, Amazon Prime, and ESPN, all together.
So, the only option left is choosing one or a few of them, but how?
It depends on your preference of course. Where Disney is all about its in-house content, Netflix is offering in-house as well as content from other houses. Where Disney aims mostly on kids and family friendly content, Netflix has a huge collection of adult-rated content as well. The choice is yours. Cheers!