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Streaming wars: the battle for your entertainment

by Michael Connor

Netflix has long been the market share leader in video streaming and it makes sense. They practically created the market. Despite competitors such as Hulu and Amazon Prime Video, who are attractive services in their own right, Netflix has remained able to stay on top of the game. Unfortunately for Netflix, a new era of streaming wars is about to begin. 

Starting in Nov., two new major services will be launched: Disney+ and AppleTV+. Disney+ has become a widely anticipated and much hyped service since its announcement in 2018. It will not only feature the classic Disney films and TV shows many have grown up with, but numerous exclusive content based on Disney, Marvel, Fox, Pixar and Lucasfilm properties. 

Additionally, Disney has dropped their content deal with Netflix, which gave the service the streaming rights of blockbuster Disney projects soon after their DVD release. Netflix from 2016-2019 was able to offer titles such as Moana, Captain America: Civil War, Finding Dory, Avengers: Infinity War, The Incredibles 2, among others. These films will eventually find their permanent home on Disney+. The removal of Disney content will no doubt be a difficult loss for Netflix alone. 

There are numerous individuals who plan to opt out of their Netflix subscriptions once Disney+ is launched on Nov. 12. With Netflix’s standard monthly plan at $12.99 and Disney+’s $6.99 monthly plan, it’s not surprising. Disney+ will offer content from some of the most treasured brands in the entertainment industry. 

“I’ll still keep Netflix, but Disney+ is a good idea. Completely excited to see what content they produce,” said Rebecca Hopmayer, junior criminology major. 

“Think it’s a good idea for people who have kids and are diehard Disney fans, but I don’t really have the time to watch it. It will widen their empire and is good on their end, but sucks as a consumer with taking content off Netflix. It’s not reasonable for a college student to pay for another streaming service on top of Hulu and Netflix and I plan to continue to subscribe to Netflix,” said Brooke Goguen, junior pre-nursing major. 

“I would prefer Disney to keep their stuff on Netflix, because I don’t want to pay for their streaming service. I prefer to go to one source and get everything, but if Disney+ is streaming most of their material that’s sick,” said Chris Pedro, senior history major.

There are two main disadvantages to Disney+. First, it will only stream Disney distributed content and no third party content. Second, according to ComicBook.com, it will be strictly family focused and will not have any R rated adult content. Netflix is an obvious solution to these issues, but is it attractive enough to keep current subscribers or bring in new subscribers who are adamant about joining Disney+? 

Disney+ is not Netflix’s only problem. AppleTV+, Apple’s contribution to video streaming, will launch on Nov.1 and will include exclusive original films and TV shows produced or staring entertainers such as Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carrell, Jason Momoa, JJ Abrams, Steven Spielberg, and Oprah. 

The service will only cost $4.99 per month, but does its content justify the cost based upon only original material? It will really depend on the quality of the content and if the content gains a loyal fan base. Fortunately for Apple, The Morning Show starring Jennifer Aniston, Resse Witherspoon, and Steve Carrell has already build up media buzz and Entertainment Weekly named it “fall’s most anticipated series”. 

Netflix, with the launches of Disney+ and AppleTV+, has been put in a position where it will need to compete harder than ever before. It will need to depend on beloved third-party content and hyped exclusives such as Stranger Things to keep audiences excited. It will no doubt need to create new “fan favorite” shows or films to build up loyal fan bases. 

There can be multiple winners in the streaming wars. While Disney+ has the potential to become a new standard and AppleTV+ most likely will offer great quality content for a pretty affordable price, Netflix will still be popular and be a very valuable company. Just the thing is they will never be as valuable as they are today, ever again. With even more new competitors such as NBCUniversal and WarnerMedia entering the market next year, streaming is about to change in massive ways. 

Michael Connor can be reached at michael.connor@spartans.ut.edu

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