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TV Streaming: The Competition Begins

Unsplash | Kelly Sikkema
By J. Atkin

It’s the day before the end, or before the beginning depending on how happy you are about the new streaming services hitting the entertainment market this year. We’ve been watching Apple TV Plus since the beginning of the month, commenting on new shows like “The Morning Show,” with Jennifer Aniston, “Dickinson,” with Hailee Steinfeld, and “See,” with Jason Momoa. Apple has promised a lot of new and upcoming content, but this week it will face its first major new competitor as Disney Plus goes live tomorrow, Tuesday, November 12.

Disney and Apple seem to be targeting different markets at present, Disney obviously focusing far more on the children and family demographics with its back catalogue of both television shows and classic movies. But Disney will also be offering its own original content starting with the first-ever live-action Star Wars show, “The Mandalorian”. However, it is the old Disney catalogue that will really set the streaming platform apart. Apple is working more from the ground up while Disney, obviously, has a plethora of content at its fingertips that it can very easily make exciting and exclusive. Odds are viewers will be tuning in, and paying for, Disney and Apple for very different reasons.

The real match up to pay attention to will be Disney Plus subscribers versus the ever-popular Netflix. Both have built-in fan bases, and both have huge catalogues of content, new, original, and classic. But, as Disney takes back many of its films (goodbye Marvel films on Netflix) both companies will be watching to see who follows what films. As the newest service, Disney also comes with the newest deals. For the same price customers currently pay for Netflix they can get Disney, ESPN, and Hulu.

While the streaming wars are a boon for those of us who are obsessed with options and content (remember there’s also the new HBO Max and the upcoming Peacock service from NBC) the real issues will really come down to viewers wallets. Here at the beginning, everyone can be a winner. It’s almost affordable at present to subscribe to every service and indulge in every show but, like most good things, no one is expecting that to last. Netflix, Apple, and Disney could certainly all see upticks in pricing in the very near future, once all services launch and the field settle ever so slightly. Perhaps now is the time to take advantage and enjoy all the content you can while the opportunity lasts.

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