The Zimbabwean Perspective

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Entertainment Lifestyle

Look out Netflix, Here comes Disney+

Tons of new shows along with at least 70% of your childhood…….

We recently mentioned in our last post of how streaming services are the huge new “it factor” in movies and TV series and before that we covered Apple’s TV+ streaming service event. But since mid last year it was known that Disney was going to throw it’s hat in the streaming race, and the result is something all streaming services will probably be scared of: Disney+.


Now some of you may find this a little laughable and surprising even because you mainly know Disney for the DSTV kids channels and all those animated movies you watched as a kid but let me elaborate on just how much of a juggernaut Disney as a company is : they sort of own EVERYTHING. And I’m honestly not kidding. As far as a lot of American produced entertainment goes, which mind you makes up a huge part of entertainment the rest of the world watches, Disney either straight up produces it, owns the company that does or owns a part of it. This list of Assets includes the recently acquired 20th Century Fox (you’ve watched a million of their  series and movies trust us) , ESPN (basically the American version of SuperSport), ABC Networks which owns some of the most American cable channels, Lucasfilm that creates star wars , Marvel and Marvel Studios (come on you know what these guys are about) and National Geographic. Convinced of how big they are yet? Yes? Good. Because firstly that’s nowhere near everything they own in media, and they plan of throwing it all somehow in what seems to be a promising streaming service.

An investor event was held yesterday which held a lot of information on the service especially the two aspects that most people wanted to hear about : shows and pricing. Disney is throwing it’s full weight into every lucrative property it has right now: There’s a new Star Wars series called The Mandalorian, a National Geographic Jeff Goldblum  and the number of Marvel Cinematic Universe based series is …..let’s just list them for you below.

  • A yet unnamed Loki series

  • A Scarlet Witch and Vision series called WandaVision (The name is weird for us too)

  • An untitled Hawkeye Series

  • A Falcon and Winter Soldier series named……Falcon and Winter Soldier (if I didn’t love these characters I would not watch these shows based on their titles)

Terrible names aside, all these projects are a huge push from Disney to make Disney+ a success. In fact the Marvel Cinematic Universe shows will not only be getting their A-List actors and possibly the same director talent from the movies, but they’ll also get movie-level budgets which makes you know already that the quality on these shows will be amazing. Disney wants its service to be the best around, and it’s sparring no expense to make it that. Along with all these new shows, there’s a all the content Disney already owns (again, everything) and that includes virtually all Marvel movies, Star Wars movies, Fox movies like Avatar, The Die Hard movies, classics like Titanic, ESPN sports content, Fox series like Brooklyn Nine-Nine Pixar movies like the Incredibles , and of course Disney’s near endless list of animated classics Like the Lion King, Frozen, and the Jungle book. All of this content is likely to be pulled from other streaming services too, or made more expensive to license to the point where they give it up, meaning Netflix won’t have a lot of your favorite movies and series anymore. In fact, Netflix has just cancelled all of it’s Marvel partnership shows (Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, The Punisher and Iron Fist) because it new Disney may pull the rug from under the at some point, making it harder for the renewal of those shows at a later point to promote it’s own series. And Hulu, another huge streaming service gets the benefit of being owned by Disney , and is expected to be where a lot of the more mature content Disney now owns like Fox’s Simpsons, Family guy, Atlanta and even shows like Star and Empire will be shown.

These are some of Netflix’s top shows. Three of them are from Marvel.

And this of course is where the other streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and everyone else get frightened. With so much power in entertainment as a whole, will Disney’s service be too much to try and stop? Basically steamrolling them and taking a huge part of their profit? Well they definitely seam to be asking that question as well and are gearing up to face the challenge. Netflix knows all it’s exclusive comic book shows came from Marvel so the past two year’s it was buying rights to buy comic licenses not owned by Marvel or DC, to produce shows like the recently released and highly successful Umbrella academy. It’s also doubling down on creating a lot more original movies, with much higher quality standards too and buying up anything else fans of action/comic book like shows would want, like anime and weird but interesting sci-fi shows. Amazon Prime is also pushing for more original content, though it’s scope is still a lot smaller. Still it has hits like Top Gear 2.0 The Grand Tour and the recent Jack Ryan series. Everyone else, well who knows. I mean sure there are niche services for things such as sports that won’t totally get overrun by Disney+’s ESPN offerings, but that’s partially because it’s letting the ESPN streaming app still survive on it’s own anyway. But the effects of Disney+ will likely affect everyone in this game, even consumers all the way in Africa like us. After all if you use Netflix, get ready for a lot of movies you watched and a few shows to disappear. Disney+ itself has only talked about  a predictable western market rollout for now so that means even the most financially blessed of us can’t subscribe.And who knows how the exclusivity of the Disney shows will work. Maybe if we’re lucky will get a Marvel Runaway’s-esque deal and  find the shows on DSTV at some point. But even that deal was many months later and no one really wants that. All we do know is this, just like in Game of Thrones, Winter is here, and it looks a lot like Mickey Mouse right now.



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