OPINION: Disney+ will take years to develop its reputation among competitors

by | Dec 3, 2019 | A&E, Opinion

Jeremy Yudin, Editor-in-Chief

Just like many burned out students at this time of the year, I’m counting down the days to open my Netflix subscription box, filled with an abundance of fresh content. Disney+ recently joined the party and I just can’t wait to start. The only issue is that I can’t afford another streaming service so deciding between the two will be a tough decision.

Netflix is the obvious choice for now but don’t be surprised if Disney+ comes back around. Disney’s 10 million subscribers on day one of launch is a strong start and though it is miles behind Netflix’s 158 million, don’t count it out.

While Netflix has been one of the most dominant entertainment services, it took years to reach its pinnacle. A Business Insider chart shows it still took the giant until 2017 to surpass cable subscribers in the U.S.

The new Disney platform will take a while to develop its role in the streaming services industry and there is always a chance it could fail to reach expectations. Of the aforementioned 10 million subscribers, many were free trial signups. According to Google trends, the phrase “cancel Disney+” was highly googled in the first two days of its launch.

Disney is setting the bar high with an estimated 60 million to 90 million subscribers by 2024. But a steady increase in subscription fees and a wider market share with competitors like Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV+ can jeopardize Netflix’s success and pave the way for Disney to reach or even exceed expectations.

Variables like prices and content selection are the most important qualities for consumers and the key to shifting the balance of power in the industry.

In the second quarter of this year, Netflix U.S. lost more than 100 thousand subscribers after the subscription service hiked its standard plan prices from $11 per month to $13.

Back in May, a conducted poll between Market research company Morning Consult and The Hollywood Reporter found that 49 per cent of young Netflix subscribers between 18-29 said they would cancel Netflix if “The Office,” “Friends,” Marvel movies and Disney content were all removed from the service.

Most Marvel movies and Disney content are already switched over to Disney+ and the remaining ones are waiting for Netflix’s deal to run out. “Friends” and “The Office” are also expected to be pulled from Netflix over the next two years.

So while Netflix seems untouchable right now, the streaming service industry can be expected to change over the next few years. One thing can lead to another and industry can change just like that.

It’s too early to define what Disney+ will be in the unpredictably of streaming services. Only time will tell.