Apple TV+ and Disney+ add to the streaming market

Two more corporations offer up their own streaming solutions.

Elijah Sorensen, Senior Design Editor

Netflix’s success in pioneering the streaming of movies and television shows has prompted the exodus of many prestigious programs from its platform. Now, as more brands begin to develop their own conduits for their content, two additional, established corporations have entered the fray–Apple and Disney. The latter, offers forth Disney+, chalk full of new series and treasured classics pulled from the pristine archives of the Disney Vault. The former, though well-versed in the modern technology industry they helped to craft, places their very first bid in entertainment with Apple TV+, promising prime programming from talented directors and featuring adored actors and actresses.

It’s no surprise that Apple and Disney have very different approaches to the release of their content. While Disney, an established entertainment juggernaut, has an extensive library of media, almost all of which will be available at launch, Apple opted only to produce and distribute original films and TV shows. Though such a decision will make it much easier for Apple to retain the rights to their shows, a problem which has pervaded Netflix as streaming continues to mature, it has also proven to be costly and has left Apple TV+ looking barren after its launch. The production value behind “For All Mankind,” and “See” is something straight out of the cinema, and the heart found in programs like “The Morning Show,” and the comedic “Dickinson” is welcome in today’s political climate. However, the launch lineup of only eight TV shows and one film is miniscule in comparison to every other service out there–perhaps that can explain why the price of Apple TV+ is so much lower. 

Although, this could end up being to Apple’s advantage. Disney+ seems to be targeting streaming juggernauts like Netflix and HBO with a content-driven strategy, while Apple’s numerous entry points for TV+ suggest it might simply just be another service which benefits Apple users. This wouldn’t be the first time that a tech company has utilized such an approach–Amazon has added music and video services to its Prime subscription model. Amazon’s primary goal in selling Prime memberships is to drive sales on its online storefront by providing added convenience through fast order fulfillment. Prime Video retains subscribers by offering quality, award-winning content. As long as people are still streaming, they are still being offered Prime shipping, which keeps them shopping. With TV+, Apple appears to share similar goals. In addition to TV+, Apple offers Apple Music, a music streaming service, Apple Arcade, a paid gaming subscription, and News+, a curated News service. The student subscription for Apple Music already includes TV+ for free ($4.99 a month for video and music streaming), and it is rumored that Apple will soon offer a bundle of all four services, with possible added, exclusive benefits, for a reduced price. If users subscribe to such a service on Apple devices, they are more likely to continue to use Apple products–because without an Apple device, they cannot utilize all of the benefits such a model would offer.

As a media company, first and foremost, Disney bolsters its Disney+ service with its vast catalog of content. They are less concerned with cross-sales and instead wish to maintain subscribers–for several reasons. By offering all of its movies and TV in one place, Disney can guarantee that users will continue to pay the monthly fee to watch–especially with new content being added constantly. Seeing as Disney owns the rights to everything on the service, the content it offers will never disappear, like Netflix. Disney also owns the rights to Hulu, where it will be putting more mature content which isn’t suitable for the family and teen friendly library found on Disney+. Disney+ will be offered in a bundle with Hulu and ESPN+ for $12.99, which further enhances Disney’s strategy in gaining and retaining subscribers.

Of course, Disney+ will have to deal with its technical issues. At the time of writing, Disney+ is currently down for many users attempting to create accounts, subscribe to the service, and watch shows, though it has only been less than 24 hours since the service launched.