If any silver linings have come out of this global pandemic, its the sudden increase in attention and innovation put towards high-speed internet, telecommunication capabilities, (with products such as Zoom winning new customers over for commercial and personal use), and new and improved streaming services ranging from Disney Plus, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. However, like in all things, there is always a leading frontrunner, and Disney Plus seems keen to take that notorious streaming wars throne.
According to USA Today, “Disney Plus, the streaming service of Walt Disney, reached the 50 million-subscriber level last week,” an impressive number since they only premiered in the Fall of 2019. “Disney predicted it would not hit that level until 2023. What experts cannot say is whether the rapid rise will harm larger rivals Amazon and Netflix. It will not be evident until those two companies report earnings. It is too early to tell how many Disney subscribers will stay with the service.” Additionally, it will be interesting to see whether new subscribers will increase or drop as soon as the pandemic we are all dealing with subsides.
The article continues to point out that most “theories about the relative success of streaming services are based on how many people will pay for them at once. At some point, consumers have more programs than they can watch. Some research puts the median number of streaming services per household at about three.”
These streaming services originally billed themselves as alternatives to cable and satellite services, providing more of the channels Americans want with less of the bill. However, as more services such as Netflix began to produce original content, other competing streaming services began to follow suit, meaning if you wanted to catch the next best show, you needed to subscribe to more than one of these services, adding up to the cost of what the traditional services were thus becoming the very thing they vowed not to become.
With this problem comes the very obvious issue of expense. “Disney Plus carries a subscription price of $6.99 a month. Netflix’s standard plan is $12.99 a month. Amazon’s is $12.99 a month; however, it is part of Amazon’s Prime subscription, which includes exclusive deals on products and free shipping, among other benefits. To subscribe to all three carries a price of close to $33 a month.”
As of now Disney Plus still has a considerable distance to grow in subscribers before taking the lead, with Netflix alone boasting 155 million subscribers around the globe. “Amazon does not release a figure, but it is likely to be above 100 million. There are several smaller services, which include Hulu, CBS All Access and HBO Now.” Netflix and Amazon do have the advantage of producing a large amount of original and exclusive content to bring in new subscribers on interest for these products alone (series such as “The Witcher” on Netflix and “Hunters” on Prime).
And always remember, beware of your online security whether you are streaming, banking, or just browsing.