Netflix has established itself as a staple part of the popular culture, with the streaming site achieving over 150 million paid subscribers worldwide. But Amazon Prime Video is already rivalling the market-leader, and now the new Disney+ site wants to muscle in on the Netflix success story as well.
November 12 launch
Disney+ launches on November 12, with the killer app of this new TV contender being the Star Wars tie-in ‘The Mandalorian’. And one of the attractive aspects of Disney+, at least in its early days, will be its price tag. US subscribers will be able to access Disney+ for just $6.99 per month; just over half the subscription price for Netflix.
It remains to be seen how long that price tag can be maintained, as it is usual for new TV services to entice customers will low prices, before steadily inching them upwards. But Netflix is already counting the cost of the increased competition in the streaming niche, having confirmed that it lost 130,000 US customers during Q2.
Nonetheless, another consideration for Disney+ will be whether or not the market is already becoming saturated. Apple is also launching its Apple TV+ service in November, and what was once a novelty to consumers is now becoming part of the furniture. Streaming is undoubtedly becoming more popular, and reaching more people, but do consumers in the core market for Disney+ actually want or need another streaming service?
Tonnes of content
Disney has lined up plenty of content in the short-to-medium-term, with the intention of making a smooth transition into life as a streaming provider. Content from Disney, Pixar, Marvel and National Geographic will feature prominently, while documentaries on ‘Lady and the Tramp’ and Marvel Studios have also been produced.
But it will certainly be hard for Disney+ to offer the same level of content as Netflix in the foreseeable future. There are nearly 10,000 movies available alone on Netflix, while the provider also delivers a wide variety of television and documentary content. Then on top of the providers already mentioned, Hulu has also carved out an impressive niche in the streaming world, while its basic package costs $1 per month less than Disney+.
The picture that emerges is of a challenging marketplace for Disney+. But the service does have its fair share of advantages as well. The Disney brand is definitely one of the most recognizable in the world of entertainment. Disney are past masters at merchandising, and this has been a massive part of the success of the brand, and helps the Disney name achieve market recognition in all four corners of the earth.
This could be extremely important as streaming grows, and begins to become popular in developing economies and markets. Certainly Disney itself is bullish on the potential of its streaming services, having told investors that it believes it will achieve somewhere in the region of 90 million subscribers by 2024.
While Netflix has dominated the embryonic streaming market, new competitors will doubtless give the service a run for its money, and Disney+ is likely to be one of the most prominent.