The streaming service landscape is changing with the introduction of Disney+, which launched on Nov. 12, advertising 30 original series, 7,500 past episodes and 500 movie titles, including titles from Star Wars, Marvel and Disney Pixar. The service is focused on including all of its family-friendly content, adding content up to a PG-13 rating, including TV shows such as The Simpsons, for $7 per month.
The popularity of the streaming platform was met with excitement and technical difficulties across the United States. Over 10 million people signed on to Disney+ on its launch day, with the help of a Verizon offer, giving Verizon unlimited customers a year of Disney+ for free.
The technical difficulties started around 7 a.m., focusing on video streaming issues. Other difficulties included issues of logging into the service. According to downdetector.com, a total of 8,000 difficulties were reported.
“The consumer demand for Disney+ has exceeded our high expectations. We are pleased by this incredible response and are working to quickly resolve the current user issue. We appreciate your patience,” a Disney+ spokesperson said in a statement, according to a CNN article published on Nov. 12.
Disney estimates to have 60 million to 90 million subscribers by 2024. Netflix last reported 160 million global subscribers in comparison.
By contrast, in April 1998, Netflix was launched as the first online DVD rental service. In 2007, Netflix expanded its services by introducing an on-demand streaming service. Streaming services are commonplace in households in 2019, with 62% of respondents stating their household is subscribed to Netflix in a September 2019 survey.
Other competing services launched, like Hulu and Amazon Prime Video, leaving customers with more options.
Following the launch of Disney+, 47-year-old Dan Lehman said he is debating what services to cut.
“Between cable, Disney+ and Netflix – it’s honestly too much. At some point I will probably cut back,” Lehman said.
Lehman isn’t alone in thinking there are too many options. A study from UTA IG showed 70% of people believe there will be too many streaming options within the next few years, with 87% of people worrying it will become too expensive.
In opposition, Purdue Fort Wayne sophomore Rachel Williamson said she is subscribed to a total of five services, using them all frequently.
“I do not necessarily feel overwhelmed (by the amount of options). I do wish that Netflix would put out newer movies instead of older movies, but I do still love all the options they have. I do think there are many streaming services, but in today’s society, I think it’s just kind of expected,” Williamson said.
Ball State University sophomore Syed Ajmain agreed there are a variety of positives to having a range of streaming services.
"Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever felt overwhelmed by it. It has only opened up options for me. I think it’s a lot better than cable, because a millennial’s worst nightmare is scheduled TV programming with classes, work or trying to manage a social life - so it’s always nice to come back home and go back to streaming,” he said.
The addition of new streaming services does not seem to be stopping. TV shows such as The Office and the Marvel Universe movies are leaving Netflix for their own respected services.
With new offerings from Disney+ and big titles leaving Netflix, some people are wondering if they will be keeping their Netflix subscription.
Netflix outspends rival services, making its original content a reason for customers to keep the service. Popular original Netflix programming includes Queer Eye and Stranger Things.
“Frankly, it’s such a first world problem. I can’t believe I agonized over canceling Netflix last night when we subscribed to Disney+,” 42-year-old Angel Steiner said on Facebook. “We will probably re-subscribe to Netflix at some point in the near future – like when Stranger Things is back.”
The difference between many of the new services and Netflix is the way they are packaged. Hulu, Disney+ and ESPN+ are offering a deal for $12.99 per month. Amazon Prime Video is connected to Amazon’s Prime service, which offers free two-day shipping. Netflix, in comparison, currently does not have a package deal with other services. The only exception is T-Mobile’s plan, which gives T-Mobile customers free Netflix.