How Disney+ is becoming a bigger success
Priya Wadhwa
10x Industry

How Disney+ is becoming a bigger success

Content is king, yet again.

Remember your favourite shows that glued you to your television sets as a child, just after school hours? They’re hard to find today unless you had VCRs or CDs converted to digital files. Even then, the quality is pretty low on the high-definition screens we have today.

So what if I told you that all your favourite Disney shows would now be available through a streaming service launched by Disney, for just $6.99?

There has been a lot of talk about the recently launched Apple TV+ and Disney+ services in comparison to Netflix, Hulu, HBO and others. Since they have all launched now, we’ve been following them to see which one is in the lead.

Disney+ launched with a lot of its old content, giving people the opportunity to indulge in their childhood favourites, while also launching new spin offs of its big brand — Star Wars — called The Mandalorian, which has received 9.1/10 rating on IMDB and 89% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Comparatively, Apple TV+ naturally needed to come up with its own set of originals, giving a pretty lean portfolio of content to viewers, albeit at the cheapest rate of $4.99 per month.

However, Apple TV+ is available in over 100 countries, while Disney+ launched only in the US, Canada and the Netherlands on 12 November, and Australia and New Zealand on 19 November. While it does have plans to expand its service to U.K., Germany, Italy, France and Spain on 31 March 2020, they are yet to reveal details of further expansion to other countries. It is more challenging for Disney to launch worldwide due to the content publication rights of its old shows in different countries.

Even then, the subscription for its steaming service went off the roof on 12 November with over 10 million customers subscriptions. Following this, the market value of Disney rose to $268 billion — twice that of Netflix.

Big tech ≠ big content brands + nostalgia

Apple, on the other hand, seems to be struggling to keep people interested with mixed reviews of its original series. It is in advanced talks with Richard Plepler, former HBO Chairman and Chief Executive, which we believe is to improve its content through the expertise of an industry veteran.

It is also looking into offering a mega-subscription bundle for its music, news and TV service to keep customers from leaving.

So while Disney is quite popular, it is currently standing on its black box of classic content, which is not enough to keep people interested for very long. It faces challenges to scale to other countries, as well as produce good content to keep viewers engaged. Apple is facing the same issue of content, but it has scalability on its side, as it is already available in over 100 countries. While Disney has received a more overwhelming interest, moving forward, a better judge of success for all streaming services would be how many customers unsubscribe, rather than the other way round.

We’re looking forward to seeing a startup offer all these streaming subscription services in one bundle. Kind of like having a cable operator give you access to multiple channels.