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Rotten Bananas: The Case of Disney+ and other streaming services

“Disney+” is the world’s newest streaming service and Disney’s newest attempt to beat the competition, but is it really worth its salt? 

The streaming service geared primarily toward properties owned by Disney released on Tuesday, Nov. 12 and in its first day of operation, Disney+ received 10 million subscriptions. For any service, streaming or not, that is astounding. The overwhelming response to Disney+ is unlike any other before it, but why exactly is that? Disney+ has film and television content consisting of properties owned by the Disney Corporation, including movies and television of the Star Wars franchise, movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, many classic Disney animated films, and the catalog of films out of Pixar Studios. 

The service’s success can be attributed to those that came before it; that is to say, the likes of Netflix and Hulu, the granddaddies of all the other streaming services. To examine why Disney+ has been such a raging success so quick out of the gate, it’s important to examine why these others succeeded so well. 

Netflix, though many are too young to remember, started not as a streaming service but as a mail-order movie service. Customers who were paying for their Netflix subscription would order movies and television series through the mail and when they were done, they had to return them, or they could get no more. This seemingly archaic method of delivery was actually quite successful in its day and it was one of the reasons that similar archaic Blockbuster went out of business. Netflix soon evolved into a streaming service and it was certainly the torchbearer for the others. When Netflix first released its streaming platform, it was not as successful as Disney+ has been, but it was nothing to sneeze at. It revolutionized the way we take in film and television content. 

Hulu followed soon after and followed a similar model. However, it operated more like a cable television network in the regard that it used to release content on a weekly schedule parallel to networks such as ABC. One of Hulu’s mainstays has been the ever-popular “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.” Hulu’s format did not become a staple of its operation. It soon evolved to be much like Netflix. 

With the advent of so-called “streaming boxes,” (Playstations, Nintendo consoles, Fire sticks, etc.) the two platforms became incredibly lucrative. Households all over the world were positively addicted to the ability to bring up whatever TV show or movie you like in almost no time at all. Then came Amazon Prime, Apple TV, and now Disney+. 

Disney+ has a model most similar to Netflix’s internet model in the regard that there are many shows that you can stream the entirety of them instantly without waiting for a weekly schedule. However, there are many services that are moving to a model similar to cable with their original content: releasing a new episode every week. This generation has been conditioned to expect the entirety of streaming show to be released all at once, so it’s unclear how they might react to a show that they have to wait each week for. 

Make your own decisions about your streaming services, but just know the streaming services will not become some linked chainsnake for which you can pay one flat fee. They almost assuredly will remain entirely separate in competition with one another for your dollar. Take that information into account when deciding which company you decide to patronize. 

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