We’ve got a little more than two months before the launch of Disney+, meaning many of us may be weighing whether to pull the plug on some of our other streaming services and instead opt into Disney’s enormous catalogue of movies, television, and originals—particularly given that its subscription price comes in lower than Netflix’s most affordable tier. But is it worth it?
Disney is certainly trying to convince potential subscribers that’s the case. The company revealed at its D23 Expo that its most affordable subscription option, which will cost $6.99 (£5.79) in the US, will reportedly offer 4K, UHD and High Dynamic Range streaming, according to CNET. Additionally, film blogger Eric Vespe tweeted that the company will stream some of its titles in Dolby Atmos as well at no extra charge.
That already gives Disney+ a leg up on Netflix in a number of ways. In America, subscribers must pay nearly $16 (£13) to unlock both HD and Ultra HD for streaming on Netflix with its premium plan (though HD is available with its standard $12.99/£10.77 plan). Plus, Netflix requires a premium subscription plan in order to stream with Dolby Atmos.
Stopped into a Disney+ demo. It’s so similar in build to Netlfix. I asked the rep about UHD and he said there were definitely titles that stream in UHD and Dolby Atmos. No upcharge. pic.twitter.com/BnvWg1ILTb
— Eric Vespe (@EricVespe) August 24, 2019
Aside from high-quality video, however, the Disney+ standard plan will include seven user-profiles and four simultaneous streams. Currently, Netflix US’ basic $8.99 (£7.45) streaming plan only allows users to stream from one device at a time, and its standard plan ($12.99) allows for two. It’s not until users bump up to its premium plan ($15.99) that Netflix allows for the same four-device streaming that Disney+ is offering with its most affordable option.
Whether or not Disney is copping to taking Netflix head-on—and to be clear, it isn’t—all signs indicate that the company has been nothing but strategic about its approach to challenging the longstanding streaming giant. In addition to the aforementioned perks that surfaced during the D23 Expo, it was previously revealed that the company would offer a Disney+ bundle with Hulu’s basic tier and the sport TV streaming service ESPN+ for a mere $12.99 a month—the same price at Netflix’s popular standard tier.
A spokesperson for Disney+ didn’t immediately return a request for comment, but we’ll update if we hear back.
It’s clear Disney+ has its streaming perks in order in terms of quality and accessibility. The big question that remains, then, is the content. The Disney+ service will be home to the company’s many franchises, including Pixar, Star Wars, and Marvel, and National Geographic—in other words, some of the biggest blockbuster content that exists. If Netflix wants to be everything to everybody, HBO wants to be the place for adult appointment TV, and Prime Video wants to be a weird grab bag of boring stuff, Disney is firmly focused on being the place for giant tent pole entertainment. In keeping with that philosophy, the House of Mouse will mostly be sticking with family-friendly offerings. According to Vespe, a Disney+ rep told him that that the content wouldn’t exceed PG-13 territory.
However, Vespe added that when he was asked whether some of its more adult Fox assets—which Disney won with its acquisition of 21st Century Fox earlier this year—would end up on Hulu, the Disney rep told him it was a “good assumption.”
Hey Apple, you hear that? It’s okay to push your boundaries a little bit.
We’ll find out if Disney’s limitless bank account has created a streaming service to rule them all on 12th November.
Featured image: Disney+