OPINION: Disney+ streaming service is worth the money, for now.

by Jeremey Randrup | Arts and Culture Editor

Disney+, a streaming on-demand service owned by the Walt Disney Company, is looming on the horizon with its scheduled November 12 release date. With the advent of another streaming service, consumers have to decide whether or not this platform will be worth the price of $7 a month (at launch). 

In order to gauge this, it’s important to take a look at what Disney+ is offering in comparison to its largest competitor, Netflix, in terms of subscription plans, features and available titles. At face value, the high-profile acquisitions that Disney has made over the years are paying off with this exclusive service and it will surely be worth it’s subscription rate, mostly due to what is offered for the price.

During the Disney Investor Day presentation on April 11, the company first unveiled the key points of the service. The standard subscription of $7 a month yields 4K content and allows users to stream from four devices at once, something that Netflix only offers with its $15.99 premium bundle. The content will include Disney’s armada of franchises, notably Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel and National Geographic. With the acquisition of 21st Century Fox, Disney+ will also have the option of being bundled with Hulu and even ESPN+ with a rate of $13 per month, the same as Netflix’s standard subscription. 

In terms of content, Netflix has shown us how hard-hitting captivating originals can be, like Stranger Things, Black Mirror and The Crown. HBO has the same idea with Game of Thrones (though there isn’t much else going for that service, unfortunately). Disney’s evident strategy is going along the same vein, tapping into the large reach and intellectual property of the company in the MCU and Star Wars among others. 

According to the presentation made by Disney during Investor Day 2019, the service will have an estimated 7,000 episodes and 500 films available at launch. This is far smaller than Netflix’s roster, but it is still quite appealing given the originals the service is rolling out with. 

The largest shortcoming of Disney+ will be its close following of its own policies. There will be nothing beyond PG-13 on its catalogue. This is a bold move, considering the dismissal of some of Disney’s widely popular R-rated properties like “Logan” and “Deadpool.” Furthermore, this decision will be limiting the catalogue and audience of Disney+ even more, particularly from those that enjoy Netflix’s array of horror, murder mysteries, violent thrillers and other genres.

 It’s clear that the Disney+ service is banking on the originals that it has, as mentioned before. The roadmap for available content on the service that was shown at the Investor Day presentation included all 30 seasons of “The Simpsons,” the entire MCU with a plethora of upcoming spin-offs such as “The Mandalorian” and the entire Disney vault from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” to “Toy Story 4”. 

For all it offers, Disney+ is definitely an easy buy, at least for its launch-day price. Like Netflix, the rates of the service will probably get higher once it is able to know that it can capture the audience that it wants. Its competitive pricing is definitely meant to shake up the market and get consumers looking in the direction of Disney and it does a fairly good job of doing so, though it will be interesting to see how steep the price may get in the future, given the dedicated fan base of the franchises included in Disney+.