With Netflix hits like "The Irishman" and "Marriage Story" leading the 2020 Oscar nominations, it’s no wonder that current streaming services are competing, with Hulu and other companies on the battlegrounds. And which company will always be there when there’s a glimmer of hope to score awards and exponential economic growth? Disney, of course.
That’s why it wasn’t a shock to me when Disney CEO Bob Iger announced the Disney+ streaming service in late 2018. The service had a highly anticipated arrival and very profitable debut, gaining 10 million subscribers on the first day it was available. With plenty of time to unhealthily binge over the holidays, everyone now has an opinion on the young platform.
In essence, the service achieves what it is trying to do. With the release of old classics and Disney Channel original favorites, the platform strikes home as a must-have for Disney fans.
Although knowledge and love of Disney is basically universal, I think the content on Disney+ stays a little too safe to intrigue a general audience, and it especially fails to hold the interest of people who are childless and above the age of 21. To keep up with the original clean Disney brand, the platform offers niche and predominantly family-friendly content that limits their age range, unlike platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime.
Disney+ is still succeeding in the market, though, and it will until the app becomes stagnant, unused by subscribers who can’t bear to watch another rerun of "Aladdin" or "Lizzie McGuire." In the future, subscribers will probably turn to Netflix to have more of a variety of options, including award-winning dramas such as "The Crown" or adult comedies like "Big Mouth."
Disney fanatics argue that there’s something for everyone and every age, but I believe these people are blindly optimistic. There’s only so many times you can hear “Let it Go” before wanting to watch a psychopathic stalker kill people in Netflix’s "You." And with rising political tension, I think older viewers are going to lose their patience hearing a high-pitched mouse squeal all day.
Not to mention, Disney+ lacks new content while other streaming services constantly roll out original shows. Instead, Disney+ put all of its eggs into one basket by releasing new episodes of limited shows on a traditional weekly schedule. This archaic structure isn't effective. The only thing Disney+ gave us was Baby Yoda.
Baby Yoda has been the only viral sensation to come from the streaming platform. With the plethora of memes and chatter about the adorable little wasabi ball, you’d think this Star Wars icon was the only thing in the Disney+ marketing strategy.
I couldn’t see Disney+ currently stacking up against or even being compared to the original titan of the streaming industry, Netflix. The content on the platform is too closely aligned with general Disney audiences and not geared enough to prestigious award ceremonies or serious viewers.
If Disney is planning to continue to play it safe and build off an already-built empire, then it's doing a great job. However, if Disney wants to run with the big dogs, it will need to produce a ton more new content that won’t just satisfy younger audiences but also create thought-provoking works that interest adults and critics.
Gabrielle Martinez is an 19-year-old mass communication freshman from Gonzales, Louisiana.