Even with a couple of flagship original shows, is Disney Plus worth the monthly price of the subscription?
The long-awaited Disney Plus launched Nov. 12, 2019, and the anticipation was high. In its first week live, Disney Plus had over 26 million subscribers, according to a Washington Post article. The Verge reported that number is now up to just under 100 million.
The brand new streaming service from Disney promised to let you watch all of the movies, tv shows, shorts and documentaries that the company had ever produced. The service heavily relied on their audience wanting to reminisce on the shows and movies that they watched when they were kids.
The entire backlog may have been a selling point in the beginning, but Disney knew it would need original content to compete against other streaming services.
Original content on Disney Plus has had great successes and failures. Shows like “The Mandalorian” and “WandaVision” have carried the service, but there was almost an entire year between the first and second season of “The Mandalorian.” Between that time, the only Disney Plus original that made any sort of news was the movie version of the Broadway play “Hamilton.”
The Disney streaming service has also done a poor job on how they release new movies during COVID-19. Films have been releasing on streaming services, but with a catch.
“Mulan is set to premiere on Disney Plus on September 4th, and it comes with a hefty price tag of $30. In reality, for non-Disney Plus subscribers who want to watch the studio’s live-action adaptation of Mulan, it’s actually going to cost $37”, said Julia Alexander in an article from The Verge.
With a price tag of $37, you might as well wait to buy the 4K Blu-ray when the film comes out and still save 7 dollars. This price is almost four times the price of a movie theater ticket.
This method of release is a stark contrast to HBO Max’s brand new model. ScreenRant reports, “All 17 of WB’s [Warner Bros.] major 2021 releases will be getting a same day premiere in theaters and on HBO Max… All of the Warner Bros. movies that are getting a same day release on HBO Max in 2021 won’t come at an extra cost for subscribers to the service.”
In its current state, I do not think that Disney Plus is worth its monthly subscription price. For me, a much better plan would be to subscribe for two months when a show I want to watch is available. I’ll go months without having any draw to the service besides rewatching the pinnacle of cinema, Ratatouille, for the umpteeth time.
This opinion could change in the near future. At D23 Expo 2020, Disney unveiled its plans for what lies ahead for the streaming service.
“The company is bringing “roughly” 10 Marvel series; 10 Star Wars series; 15 Disney live-action, Disney Animation, and Pixar series; and 15 all-new Disney live-action, Disney Animation, and Pixar features to Disney Plus”, said Jay Peters from The Verge.
There is no doubt that there is a ton of original content coming in the near future to Disney Plus. The real question is if the excitement is enough to carry your subscription to the next release.
“The truth is, the best is yet to come on Disney Plus – and there is a lot to look forward to, when you think about Marvel shows like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier on the horizon. Disney, like everyone else, just got unlucky with the pandemic, and that has slowed down the pace of its most exciting originals” said Henry St. Leger from TechRadar.
With all of this new content coming, I might be able to justify the price in the thick of releases. As of right now, I plan to cancel my Disney Plus subscription after “WandaVision” ends and pick it back up when there is another original title that peaks my interest.