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Disney+ Launch: Is It Worth Switching To?

Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming platforms have been revolutionizing the world’s entertainment media by infiltrating the arena of traditional TV since a Netflix series won a Primetime Emmy Award. This simultaneously legitimized and popularized the use of streaming services, allowing for this streaming platform to integrate itself into our culture as social trends (ahem-”Netflix and chill”). The biggest advantage that these streaming services hold over traditional TV is the unlimited accessibility of content, unlike TV shows that were confined to be watched via a TV on a certain schedule. However, in light of the recent streaming wars, many traditional TV channels have caught on and have entered this streaming media market. On November 12, 2019, the newest player emerged- and let me tell you, this one is a titan. 

Source: Walt Disney Pictures

Walt Disney Co., media giant, has finally went in to claim their crown among the streaming service industry with the launch of Disney+, their very own streaming service that holds all their movies, TV shows, documentaries, etc. Disney media has been ingrained in most of our childhood memories, offering nostalgia and comfort whenever we see the iconic sparkling castle and magical tune that opens every Disney film. Oh- what about Disney channel? Don’t get me started! 

Anyways, the point is: should we switch over to Disney+ ? Walt Disney Co. has gained much of its success by becoming a household name whose popularity is so grand that it has been able to evolve its content, ranging from TV to movies. The appeal to many, especially die-hard Disney fans, would be the unrestricted access to Disney classics, TV originals, and other ventures, like Marvel and Star Wars. At $6.99 a month, allowing 4 simultaneous streams, this deal sounds pretty sweet in comparison to Netflix’s 12.99 per month plan that allows 2 simultaneous streams (which is only their “Standard” plan, not to be mistaken with their “Basic” plan). HD quality is not included in the basic plan- a bit offensive is it not?! Even Youtubers who are just starting out invest in quality cameras that shoot in 4K quality because today, quality matters. This subscription price even beats the $11.99 monthly subscription with no ads from Hulu, another big competitor in the market. The deal sweetens even more as Hulu, ESPN+ and Disney+ are offering a “triple-service bundle” for $13 every month, appeasing parents and children alike. So, what does that mean for Netflix and other streaming services that provide Disney content as part of their own platform’s content? More importantly, what does that mean for you? Are you willing to subscribe to more than one service?

According to CNET, Disney’s next move will be to completely take back their content from the Netflix platform. To many, this might be a step back for their rival, Netflix. But wait- what about all of those mind-blowing, original series that Netflix and other streaming services have blessed us with? This is where Disney+ falls behind all the other streaming services: original content. I, quite frankly, am hooked on Netflix originals like Umbrella Academy or Elite and the Amazon original Fleabag (read all about it here). Then again, being 20 years old, G-rated movies don’t call me that much anymore, except when I’m feeling nostalgic or a popular vote calls for a Disney movie. However, in terms of content, Disney+ does deliver spin offs of their original content- which is not very original- but the classics still appeal to the majority. Maintaining the spirit of their many classics means having controversial content, which CNN reports has led Disney+ to put out disclaimers about racist and offensive content that clash with today’s values or social progress. 

And hold on- CNET also reports that Disney+ shows will release episodes on a weekly basis, much like traditional TV. This is another shortcoming, in my opinion, because the appeal to many streaming services is the glorious ability to binge a series. I understand the strategy behind a weekly release as it keeps viewers coming back for more, but it might be a turn-off for those people who are used to binging a show in one sitting- by those people, I mean me. Therefore, I am confident that with the incredible up-and-coming works from streaming services nowadays, Disney+ is just but one of the many competitors that continue to deliver and keep our interests, making it hard for anyone to choose one service or leave one. I’ve tried- but everytime I cancel my subscription, something new and interesting pops up!

For me, being an unemployed college student without endless buckets of cash, I do not have a specific preference or brand loyalty when it comes to entertainment media. All I want is easy accessibility to all my favorite content within one service at a reasonable price. In the future, I would most definitely consider a subscription to more than one service subscription based on the original content that is unique to each service. It is still better than traditional TV in the olden days since we, as consumers, have more of a choice in the type of content we get to purchase. Media is changing just as rapidly as technology so in the future we may expect to see these streaming services to merge and make it easier on all of us- and cheaper too! In the meantime, if you’re looking to try out Disney+, minus the commitment of a subscription, then consider a free trial for 7 days!

Kimberly is a third year Economics major, minoring in Management at UCI. As a California-native, her inspiration draws from nature, friends, her Spotify playlists and French-pressed coffee.
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