The Battle of Streaming Services: Netflix or Disney+?

Disney is about to launch its brand new streaming platform this November which will join an already large group of competitors in a world that is currently dominated by Netflix: with this last one set to lose important sets of contents (like Marvel and Star Wars brand), the war for subscriptions is on. The question is: which one will be the better platform, and why?

After months of talks and theories we are almost there: Disney+ will join the world of streaming services in a couple of months, and details about it are starting to be revealed each passing day. From original TV series and film the Mickey Mouse platform is looking to offer a valid alternative to streaming giants like Netflix, or Amazon Instant Video. During the past weeks Disney announced a lot of series that will be exclusively released on its platform, focusing on renowned and loved brands as Marvel and Star Wars: these two could be the most “lethal” weapons against the competitors. Series of the likes of The Mandalorian, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, Wandavision, Hawkeye and Loki, together with the caliber of the actors could pose a real threat to the giant Netflix, which is already facing a not exactly smooth period.

The last July, indeed, Netflix announced a loss in domestic subscribers for the first time ever, losing about 130,000 and a subsequently fall in shares of the 10.3%, which costed the company more than $16 billion. The loss followed a previous price increase that could have led many people to just not renew their subscription to the service. Now, in this already tricky situation for Netflix, Disney+ could find fertile breeding grounds, considering that for the first period of its run the platform will be a lot cheaper than Netflix, with a monthly subscription that will cost about $7 per month. Could this be the end for Netflix? Well, not really. The streaming company has still a lot of international growth potential, extending its presence to countries that can’t use the service yet (among this the Chinese market would represent the best possible options).

Domestically speaking, Disney+ could really take Netflix spot, considering that the Star Wars and Marvel brand are among the films that have the highest gross ever in the US, and the chance to watch brand new stuff, among the possibility to re-watch their favourite films every time they want, could really be the turning point in favor of Disney. Netflix, instead, after cancelling all the Marvel series during the past year, will lose even the Star Wars films and those few Marvel films that were still on its platform (among some fan favourite series, like Friends in the UK, or Rick and Morty) making the fans of these brands to not find it really appealing. Let’s be clear, Netflix still owns a massive amount of loved TV series, such as Stranger Things, The Umbrella Academy and many more. So, what are the pros and cons of the two platforms?

Let’s start with Disney+: apart for the fact that it will be the exclusive home of the above mentioned brands, it will exclusively have Pixar and classic Disney material and the initially cheaper cost is definitely the most important pro. Within 5 years the Disney+ library is set to have around 50 original series (roughly 10,000 episodes) and more than 700 films, which is remarkable; but let’s get to the cons. On day one the library will be quite small, counting just a bunch of Marvel films, all Star Wars films from the first two trilogies, classic Disney movies plus original series including The Mandalorian: it will take a while for the library to become slightly larger, but that is completely part of Disney’s plan and it will happen in the foreseeable future. Another con, is the fact that the episodes will be released weekly and not all together like Netflix usually does: this will prevent people interested in just one series to pay for just a month and binge-watch it, but it will force them to pay for more than a month.

Netflix’s best pro is surely the varied content on its platform: for the moment, Netflix’s library seems more well-rounded than the Disney+ one. If we consider even the numbers that Disney hopes to reach in five years Netflix still has the best numbers: US library counts indeed 1,326 TV shows and 4339 films (while the UK one has “just” 542 TV series and 2,425 films). The worst con at the moment, is the price: the recent increases weren’t welcomed well by Netflix members, as already mentioned before.

So, which one should you choose? Well, the dream would be to have a subscription to both of them, but along with other subscriptions too it may be a bit too expensive to keep all of them running. If you are looking for a more well-rounded and varied library, then pick Netflix: with its films and original series, plus thousands of other exclusive and other content you can still enjoy hundreds and hundreds of hours of entertainment. If, instead, you’re looking to watch Marvel contents, Star Wars movies or you simply have kids, well… Disney+ could be the perfect choice for you (and potentially save you some money as well… For the moment.). Let the competition begin.

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