Companies like Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu couldn’t have possibly seen their eventual streaming empires becoming what they are now, but they should’ve seen this coming. They should’ve seen the largest entity in the entertainment industry wanting a piece of this streaming pie that just seems to keep gets bigger and bigger. They should’ve prepared. Disney is coming.
When Disney, who, by the way, now controls 60 percent of Hulu, launches their streaming platform, Disney+, in September of this year, it will already have significant advantages over its competitors. One of those advantages will be the pricing because Disney wants to stay cost-friendly. Though the exact price is yet to be announced, Disney CEO Bob Iger said in 2017 that the price for the platform will be “substantially below where Netflix is,” because Disney+ just won’t have as much content right away.
Netflix’s standard plan is currently $12.99 per month. ESPN, also under the Disney umbrella, recently launched their premium streaming platform, ESPN+, at $4.99 per month. It’s reasonable to think Disney+ would fit somewhere between the two prices.
Additionally, a major advantage Disney+ will have is its exclusive content. The company has already announced it will host multiple exclusive Star Wars and Marvel series. This helps bring in hardcore followers of individual fanbases that wouldn’t normally spend that monthly fee.
The final major advantage Disney+ has over previous streaming platforms is name appeal. Regardless of how recognizable brands like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu have become, they are all yet to eclipse Disney and the “House of the Mouse.” Children are spoon-fed Disney content from a young age between animated movies and child-centered television, and not all parents will be able to resist when their little ones are begging and pulling at their legs for more Disney entertainment.
All this is to say there’s about to be a whole lot more competition in the streaming game. The basis of capitalism states more options are better for consumers. The more options there are, the more companies are forced to compete to win the revenue share.
Since Disney is who they are, they should become an immediate threat to the other powers in the streaming business, and that is so beneficial to consumers. Disney’s threat leads to lower prices across all platforms, better exclusive content, and wider varieties to choose from within the platforms.
While Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu should all be trembling with fear at the prospect of Disney+, consumers, like you and me, should be licking our lips just waiting to see how they’ll battle for our dollars.