Does Disney+ Make The Cut?

Jaida Topuzoglu

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With the decrease in Cable T.V. subscriptions and the increase in streaming service options, Walt Disney Studios was bound to take the next step in expanding their company by creating Disney+. Disney has been planning its esteemed arrival for years, and finally, the platform launched November 12th. On the first day of launch alone, the company reported 10 million subscriptions. Initially, this amount does not sound impressive, until when compared with other services, such as HBO, who struggled to reach 5 million subscriptions in a period of almost three years. With the everlasting pressure upon Disney to make their mark in the streaming service industry, can they pull out all the stops to make Disney+ truly the best streaming platform out there?

With all praise that comes to a new product, comes an equal amount of criticism and flaws. Since the launch day, several users (including myself) have been experiencing technical issues when using the service, especially when signing up or logging in to their accounts. In many cases, users will attempt to setups their accounts and will instantly be sent to a screen with characters Wreck-It-Ralph and Vanellope from the 2012 movie of the same name, Wreck-It-Ralph. No matter the router users have, this message still pops up on screens a week after the initial release date of Disney+. According to downdetector.com, within minutes of the platform going live, there were a recorded 8,000+ reports to Disney’s technical support team. As of the time of writing, Disney has reported that the cause of the issue has been both a coding issue and an overwhelming amount of new subscriptions that was troubling for Disney’s team to fully manage. Despite the occurring technical difficulties several users have been experiencing on the platform, many have praised the platform for its subscription benefits when compared to competitors, mainly Netflix.

The platform costs $7 a month, or $70 for a year’s subscription pre-order. Compared to big names in the industry, Disney+ is currently the second cheapest option available, with Hulu being the lowest priced platform at $6, while Netflix clocks in at $9 for its lowest tier subscription, and $16 being the highest tier. Although these platforms are the biggest competition for Disney, how does Disney offer benefits of their service compared to other platforms?

For starters, Disney+ has almost the exact equivalent of a Netflix Premium $16 subscription for half the price. Included with a Disney+ subscription is 4K image quality, offline downloads, personalized recommendations, up to four people watching on a single subscription account at a time, and (for the most part) good performance on all versions of the platform.

Lastly, we must discuss the interface of the platform compared to competitors. The interface of the service is appealing and kid-friendly, with a navy blue scheme with white bold text that makes the titles stand out very well. Along the top of the screen is a series of option menus that give the viewer full access to titles of that genre, Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic, that’s it below a set of recommended titles for the viewer. In the middle of the screen is randomly generated genres specifically picked for the viewer, similar to Netflix’s recommendation system. The bottom of the screen shows a gray bar with four menu options, which allow users to easily navigate the home screen, search bar, download screen, and settings screen. The interface is easy to use for any age, with the home screen interface being the main section users browse with ease. The screen is an infinite scroll up or down-filled with thousands of recommendations from Disney+’s extensive catalog.

     With the phenomenal price and extreme benefits, Disney+ is already scaring other streaming service companies in the industry to compete with what Disney has got. Once the majority of the re-occurring technical issues are taken care of, these benefits will impact the competition very strikingly. All in all, Disney+ is worth the small issues to watch and watch again the timeless classics we all grew up with and the brand new originals coming to the platform soon.