Okay lets get one thing clear. Streaming technology is the new norm when it comes to entertainment delivery. It’s been years now since the breakout business model of Netflix turned from mail order supplier to application dominance and content producer. HBO and the other cable networks all followed suit and developed streaming platforms of their own.
Netflix had reaped financial glory but used that new-found cash flow to acquire rights to content from the likes of Universal, Sony and Disney as well as producing hit shows of their own. In fact, Netflix spent literally billions almost 18 billion to be exact. And for the most part, this had been paying off. Plus Netflix kept subtlety as possible raising their low subscription prices where (while still less expensive then premium cable services) to get multi device expansion (viewers allowed to watch separately) and 4K Ultra HD you were forking over just under $16 per month.
Still Netflix had developed into iconic status branding like Facebook, Amazon or Google. They, like their giant counterparts became a part of our cultural landscape. ‘Netflix and Chill’ became a recognized euphemism for “date night” and media institutions like Emmy and Oscar began to recognize the wonderful productions.
In fact, Netflix changed the way we absorbed and consumed content. Binging became a favorite stay home pastime. While a new season of a hit series like Stranger Things may take over a year and millions to produce, an avid viewer could easily parse through a season comfortably in two weeks.
So while Netflix became a respected content producer, they were also very reliant on outside content to provide the bulk of their offerings.
That’s why when the Mighty Mouse (Disney) announced they were developing a streaming application of their own everyone took notice. It was the primary factor in Netflix’s record spending over the past two years. Disney Plus is set to launch early next month (November 12) with a monthly price of just $7 a month with Ultra HD included and a special first year subscription offer of just $70 (that’s 5.83 a month!)
Disney is the content king regardless of producing new material (which they are). To put it in perspective, in recent years, Disney has come to own eight of the top 10 highest-grossing movies of all-time. For decades, Disney was known primarily as an animation studio, thanks to classics such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Dumbo, and The Lion King, among many, many others. Of course, they also dabbled in live-action, but it wasn't until the 2000s that they really started to push beyond their self-imposed boundaries, ultimately leading to multiple studio acquisitions.
Thanks to acquiring Marvel Entertainment in 2009 and Lucasfilm in 2012, Disney was truly able to diversify their audiences and capitalize on world-renowned properties, and their viewership is now going to expand even more due to their acquisition of 21st Century Fox (which includes 20th Century Fox), which officially closed earlier this year. With countless titles under their belt, Disney was able to produce some of the highest-grossing films of all-time, and it seems a great number of them rank in the top 10.
Recently I have noticed that Netflix has expanded their international offerings. Movies and especially series from abroad fill up most of what I see offered. This is not necessarily a downtrend to competition. In her book, New Kings of The World: The Rise and Rise of Eastern Pop Culture author Fatima Bhutto explores these new arbiters of mass culture arising from the East–India’s Bollywood films, Turkish soap opera, or dizi, and South Korean pop music. All three of those genres now dominate worldwide production/consumption.
It will be interesting to see if the industries expectations for Disney Plus’s anticipated success will pan out. I admit I am contemplating canceling my Netflix subscription and taking advantage of the first time promotional package.
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