After months of speculation, Disney finally pulled back the curtain on its streaming service, Disney+, detailing its upcoming programming price point. Unsurprisingly, the $6.99 monthly subscription price immediately led to Netflix comparisons, especially as the latter recently raised its prices. However, given that Netflix is far from the only other streaming service, we take a look at how Disney+ stacks against its competitors.
While Netflix is, undoubtedly, the biggest name of all the streaming services -- for now, at least -- other platforms Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and CBS All Access serve up quality content as well. And while not necessarily in the same ballpark as those listed above, WarnerMedia's DC Universe streaming service appears to be gaining popularity, so much so that its live-action series have become as talked about as The CW's Arrowverse dramas.
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The biggest competition for Disney+ is obviously Netflix, which continues to produce content at a much faster rate than other streaming platforms. Despite canceling all of its Marvel series, Netflix doesn't appear to be suffering any. Still, recent price hikes are sure to drive some customers away. On May 1, Netflix will increase its basic plan to $8.99, its standard HD/two-screens plan to $12.99, and its premium four-stream HD to $13.99. The price increases are, of course, to help Netflix invest in more original content. While the prices are higher than Disney+, it's worth noting Netflix has continually built up its content, and still retains plenty of licensing arrangements that allow it to stream popular shows and movies -- including a good amount of the Marvel films.
However, unlike Disney+, Netflix won't have live-action originals featuring two of the biggest franchises in Hollywood: Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Upon launch, fans will be able to stream the first live-action Star Wars series, The Mandalorian, and it was recently confirmed the first true Marvel Cinematic Universe series, Falcon & Winter Soldier, will also debut on the streaming service this year. And if that weren't exciting enough, Disney will also have the first 30 seasons of The Simpsons available at launch, and will also carry Disney's entire animated catalog -- including those that have been locked away in the vault. And this is only in the streaming service's first year. Rather impressive given that the fees will start at $6.99 per month, or $69.99 per year.
But what about Hulu, Amazon, and CBS All Access? It's difficult to compare Disney+ to Hulu, especially given that Disney now owns 60 percent of the digital platform following its acquisition of 21st Century Fox deal. However, Hulu will continue to get certain Fox content that Disney+ will not, including the FX shows still earmarked for Hulu, following a 2014 deal. Hulu, of course, also has plenty of awards-worthy series, including The Handmaid's Tale, and critically acclaimed series such as pen15 and Shrill. Most noteworthy, however, is that Hulu will continue to be the home for Marvel's Runaways, as well as the recently announced adult-orientated Marvel animated series. So, how does Hulu's $11.99 monthly fee compare to Disney+? While the service has plenty of offerings, Disney+ stands out against Hulu's current offerings and monthly cost. (It's of note that, if you'd like to keep your Hulu account, Disney+ may offer a discounted bundle.)
One of the most surprising streaming services has proved to be Amazon's. While not nearly as popular as Netflix, Amazon has found its niche in adapting popular content -- whether that be books or films. Its Man in the High Castle series is easily its most popular after Transparent, which will end with its next season, and Hanna is doing well enough to garner a second season. Its most notable production is the forthcoming Lord of the Rings series, which is still a ways off. Still, unlike the others, Amazon doesn't require its own monthly fee. In fact, Prime members ($99 annually) have access to all Amazon originals instantly. It's difficult to truly compare it to Disney+, but as the service's line-up continues to grow, perhaps that will change.
That brings us to CBS All Access. This is still a relatively new service, with really only three series that are truly noteworthy: The Good Fight, Star Trek: Discovery, and Jordan Peele's Twilight Zone reboot. CBS All Access is priced at $5.99 per month with limited commercials, and $9.99 per month no commercials. The service does act as a sort of On Demand for other CBS shows, allowing fans to access some of their favorites 24/7. However, that alone isn't enough to sell this service. Thankfully, CBS is moving forward with at least two more Star Trek series, including one featuring Patrick Stewart's iconic Picard, and an animated Star Trek series. So, for $5.99? The service seems worth it if you're a Trekkie. Unfortunately, that continues to be the only major selling point.
That, of course, leaves us with DC Universe. This service was a long time coming for DC Comics fans, and acts more as an all-access to DC, rather than the typical streaming service. Fans can read a curated selection of comics through the app, catch-up on the Syfy series Krypton, or revel in their favorite DC movie and television classics. However, the biggest selling point is its growing roster of live-action and animated originals. Does it compare to Disney+? No, but unlike the others, it doesn't truly have to compete. At $7.99 per month, or $79.99 per year, DC Universe has plenty of offerings for its users without having to try and be the next Netflix or Disney+.
In the end, how does Disney+ compare to its fellow streaming services? While many are sure to groan at the thought of yet another streaming service, especially considering WarnerMedia is still developing its own, Disney+ stands out. From The Simpsons, to Star Wars and Marvel, and book adaptions such as a Stargirl movie and a Love, Simon television series, Disney+ has plenty of content for everyone. And at $6.99 a month? It's pretty hard to beat the price.