The Walt Disney Company has never been more massive than it is today, but can it singlehandedly run a competitive streaming service? Can it fight equally alongside Netflix and Hulu purely on its own steam, while its rivals have the benefit of third-party material?
Today Disney CEO Bob Iger put out a press release revealing the name of this service (Disney+, rather blase) and confirming much of the rumored content. That Loki show starring Tom Middleton? Totally gonna be a thing. The Mandalorian will happen, as will the wrap-up season of Clone Wars, and if that’s not enough Star Wars for you, the Cassian Andor character from Rogue One will star in his own series.
There will be a Monsters Inc TV series, the first High School Musical show in many years (Sharpay’s Fabulous Facelift?) and whatever live-action remakes of animated movies they don’t feel are quite box-office worthy (Lady and the Tramp is rumored). According to Vulture all this content will be organized under five categories: Disney proper, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic (which Disney just acquired from the Fox merger).
Iger talks a lot about the new shows Disney+ has in development, but he has yet to say anything about what, in our opinion, will make or break this service: the back catalog. Disney pretty much owns everyone’s childhood, and rarely takes advantage of that. There are countless movies and TV shows, decades of content, that millions of people have affection for — and yet gathers dust in their fabled vault.
A streaming service that truly opens up that vault would be a thing of beauty. But no one’s saying a word about the possibility. Instead the press release is obsessively focused on new content for today’s children, which is typical behavior for the company, but there’s no reason to put reruns of Wuzzles on Disney Channel. There’s plenty reason to do it here.
Especially with the price Iger is setting, rumored to be in the ballpark of $8 to $14. If you’re going to charge Netflix prices, you need a Netflix-sized library. Otherwise it’s unreasonable to charge anything above $5.The thread view count is