If this past weekend was any indication then there is a lot to be excited about concerning Disney’s upcoming streaming service, Disney+. Of course, it’s easy to kind of roll your eyes and groan at the fact that there is yet another streaming service for you to subscribe to. At this point, I’m starting to wonder if there’s some sort of merit badge for signing up for more then one streaming service. “Let’s see, you’ve got Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, WWE Network, and is that Shudder?! Here, take your badge and stream away my friend!” The thing is though, there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of streaming services on the horizon. Suddenly cutting the cord might not be the cheapest option for those of us who are trying to watch everything. A category that I fall into. With select shows like The Office heading towards whatever NBC’s streaming service will be or Game of Thrones over on HBO’s soon to be streaming service, it’s going to add up. There’s only so much television that my wallet will allow me to watch. Just a fact. I’m not Smaug the Dragon here. I haven’t been hoarding the coins of elves, dwarves, and humans. No, I’ve been buying comics, Funko items, and streaming services. I’m broke.
Once you overlook the idea of signing up for yet another streaming service though, you have to admit that Disney+ seems quite attractive. Kind of like when we’re first introduced to Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction but not including the mayhem that follows. She stood out at that book editors party just like Disney+ stands out in the world of streaming services. This is not to say that Disney is going to boil your pet bunnies, didn’t they already kind of do that with every animated parent they’ve ever killed, but… well, I suppose there is an avenue to travel where Disney becomes like Glenn Close later in the film but we’re not here to focus on the “evil” aspects of Disney. I keep getting sidetracked. None of this is the point I’m trying to make. It doesn’t help that I’m listening to a podcast about Fatal Attraction either.
Disney+ looks appealing not only because the price is right ($6.99 with no ads) but because of the amount of content that will be at our fingertips day one. On November 12th we all will be the proverbial kid in the proverbial candy store. Disney animated classics, Star Wars, Pixar, Marvel, The Simpsons, and so much more will be there waiting for us to be viewed. Disney+ is coming with so much content that we already know that we love and enjoy it’s hard to pass up. You may not be a Disney fan but if you look hard enough you’ll see that Disney owns something you love. Hell, it might even own you at this point.
With all this content at the ready, Disney+ has given itself the room to be a little different than Netflix. There’s no denying that the two will be in direct competition. Any Disney properties that were once streaming on Netflix are slowly disappearing. Once contracts expire those movies/shows/cartoons are all heading back to the mothership. Netflix finds itself in a new territory where they are seriously going to have to rely on their original programs, movies, and comedy specials. With all these streaming services Netflix could find itself kind of floating in the abyss as properties that made Netflix so famous fade into the sunset.
What’s sure not to help is how Disney+ plans on handling its new shows. Part of Netflix’s philosophy has been to build a massive library of its own. Have you ever taken a moment to truly explore Netflix? It’s insane how much content is there. There’s no way for a person to consume all of it, even if they wanted to watch two seasons of Frontier. Netflix season dumps weekly and because of that, there is probably some quality content that is being missed. Sure, Netflix hopes that your algorithms will lead you there eventually but they also don’t really care. The content is there and that’s what really matters.
I Am Geek even made a point to kind of plea with Netflix when concerning the third season of Stranger Things. Here was an opportunity for Netflix to change their game up, move away from the season dump, and own the summer with Stranger Things. With Game of Thrones concluding, audiences were primed and willing to fall in love with another show on a week to week basis. Surprisingly Netflix did not listen to my pleas and dropped Stranger Things on the Fourth of July as planned. Don’t get me wrong, the season was tremendous but it could have lasted the whole summer opposed to the week and half of extreme relevance.
Disney+, on the other hand, seems to have listened. One of the things that have been lost amongst the announcements of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Wandavision, Ms. Marvel, and Moon Knight is the fact that Disney’s streaming service will not be season dumping. Each episode will be coming out on a week to week basis almost guaranteeing that Disney is going to get the most bang for their buck. Kicking off the service with the release of the first Star Wars television show, The Mandalorian, is sure to get people to sign up instantly but what’s going to keep them coming back is the slow release of episodes. That need to see more. Sure, people can freak out about the first episode and Disney is hoping that word of mouth is going to attract those viewers who try to oppose the Mouse. But it also allows for commentary to build. It allows for pop culture sites, like this very one you’re reading, to build content based on the property. And in the long run, is the best thing for Disney to do to ensure that their shows get the longest shelf life. It’s not like there won’t be other things to watch while you wait. For Christ’s sake, you’ve got thirty seasons of The Simpsons to work though.
This seems to be something that Netflix is refusing to do. Netflix isn’t concerned with their shows staying within the landscapes conversation. Netflix’s main concern is that people are talking about… Netflix. They love that you talk about shows like Stranger Things or Mindhunter but with all the content that they’re pushing out they know, you’ll be talking about something else of theirs the following week. As long as Netflix itself is in the conversation then they’re winning which often serves as a disservice to some of their content. I’m convinced if there wasn’t so much being released at once we’d be having more conversations about Mindhunter or Dead To Me but here we are already preparing for the next thing.
And here is Disney wanting you to know what the next thing is but wanting you to enjoy the current thing first. It’s like a parent saying eat your dinner and you can get dessert except, all the meals that Disney is serving is dessert so we’re just going to get diabetes and fat as we consume more and more and more. But at least we’ll be consuming at a slower rate. A rate where we don’t have to rush to finish because we’re worried the internet is going to spoil. We can digest and enjoy and appreciate the event of watching something without the pressure of it being ruined first. Netflix may be the leading streaming service but this… this is something that Disney is already doing better.