With Disney+ officially out of its infancy stage and the first of many planned Marvel and Star Wars shows now officially available, it's a good time to sit back and assess the site's current viability. Is Disney+ actually any good for the modern day streamer or is it best to spend our money on more reliable sites?
Prices & Devices
First, let's take a look at where Disney+ now sits in comparison to the cost-effectiveness of their biggest competitor: Netfix. Widely known as the curator of contemporary streaming innovations, Netflix's most basic package costs only £5.99 a month (though this is soon to rise) with access to 1,569 individual shows and 4,010 movies all available on one device.
Disney's next biggest competitor is probably Amazon Prime Video. Boasting a far wider selection than Netflix, recent research suggests that Prime Video enables access to a staggering 1,984 individual shows and 12,828 movies on up to three devices. That's all at the same price of £5.99 a month for their most basic plan, increasing to £7.99 over time.
Then there's Disney+. With currently only one available plan at £5.99 a month, Disney+ grants you access to 7,000 television episodes and only 500 films. It boasts far less content than competitors but with up to four devices.
It's not all about the numbers though and everybody knows how good Netflix is at consistently producing high quality original content. Sex Education, The Queen's Gambit, Sunderland 'Til I Die, The Irishman, Marriage Story, The Crown, Narcos. The list of thematically innovative and successful TV and movies is staggering. What's more, there's typically something for everyone. You like video games, action and fantasy? The Witcher. You like heated political intrigue? House of Cards.
Alternatively, Amazon Prime simply has so much. Their roster of "highly successful" original content is more limited, but is still present. Just look at All or Nothing, The Grand Tour, Good Omens or The Boys.
But the real draw to Prime is the sheer quantity of content. Right now they've got access to some of last year's Oscar/Bafta winners like Parasite and 1917, but also older stuff like Green Book, Indiana Jones, a lot of Tarantino, The Hobbit and literally thousands more.
So, based on just two of a whole range of possible competitors, how might Disney+ look? If you love the Star Wars, Marvel, National Geographic and Disney/Pixar brands then you're going to love Disney+ because that is all they have to offer right now. The variety is just not there like it is on their competitors' sites.
But if you have a family with children who watch the same content over and over again then you're definitely going to want it. Right now I argue that Disney+ is a family oriented service. It has the right number of screens for a small family and the kind of content that is perfect for mums and dads to sit down and take different enjoyments from than the kids.
Currently, Disney+ has been riding on the success of tentpole releases. Huge hits like Soul, The Mandalorian and WandaVision have popped up throughout the year, inconsistently inviting consumers back into the Disney+ fold. It's that lack of consistency at present that makes Disney+ not quite worth it... yet.
With all of Disney's recently announced content like the numerous branched out Star Wars shows or expanded explorations into Marvel characters, Disney+ will (at some point) become a hub for people to jump into those worlds and experience something fresh from a familiar brand.
What's more, after Mulan's success it's highly likely that a lot of their planned cinematic releases like Black Widow and The Eternals may get advanced screenings onto the online platform.
The Mandalorian has been Disney+'s main marketing cornerstone since their inception and quite right too. It was an example of original content at the highest quality, technically innovating in ways that have never been done before and introducing audiences to fun, diverse and relatable characters.
Disney is taking their newly acquired assets to many different places with a lot of potential and I'm sure that it will be worth it in the next few months/years, but is it any good right now? Not yet. I'd stick to just Netflix & Amazon for now until Disney+ has more original content under its belt and can start to justify a consistent £5.99 a month asking price.