The COVID-19 Pandemic that has taken the world by surprise, forcing us to stay inside our homes, which makes for some boring times. It’s the fourth week into physical distancing, and while there are many things to do around the house, I for one, have been browsing each and every streaming service.
Nothing is quite as frustrating when you can’t decide what to watch and in my searches for television shows or movies to keep me entertained, I’ve thought a lot about which streaming service is truly the best one out there. From all that there is to choose, I have concluded that Netflix and Disney Plus are the two most popular ones.
Netflix was first launched in 1998, as the world’s first online DVD rental store, which is pretty crazy to think about. In 2002 the company started to see a huge increase in their subscription business, and by 2007, introduced streaming services, which would completely change how we watch movies. Ever since, Netflix has been at the top of the leaderboard of streaming services, and even though other companies like Hulu, Apple TV Plus, Amazon Prime, and many others, have tried to rival Netflix, it still remains the most well known and widely purchased service around the world.
However, on November 12th, 2019, Disney Plus officially came out in Canada, the US, and the Netherlands. When the announcement was made about the creation of Disney Plus, many scoffed at the idea. What could it possibly offer that Netflix, Hulu, and all these other services did not already have? The answer, turns out, is quite a lot. Disney Plus draws from over 90 years of movies, TV shows, and documentaries for those die-hard loving Disney fans. The service has content that goes all the way back to Steamboat Willie, a 1928 cartoon that served as one of Mickey Mouse’s first appearances, up to Onward, which hit theatres last month.
Why Netflix and Disney Plus Should Top Your List
Like I said, I’ve been thinking about which service is truly the best, and in order to do that, I’ve created a criteria to follow:
- first, the price, whether you choose to purchase the monthly or yearly plan;
- second, how up-to-date or recent the movies and shows on the service are; and
- third, the content availability and what young adults our age really want to watch.
Disney Plus undercuts Netflix.
Costing $8.99 per month or $89.99 per year, Disney Plus is quite a good deal. It also allows seven user profiles, who get to choose from 200 different avatars available as their profile picture, and lets up to four profiles stream simultaneously.
Netflix works a bit differently. There are three monthly plans to choose from, those being the Basic Plan for $9.99, the Standard Plan for $13.99, and the Premium Plan for $16.99. In all of the plans, users can have up to five profiles, but the Basic Plan will only allow one stream at a time. Users purchasing the Basic Plan also will not get HD or Ultra HD resolutions, meaning some fuzzy pixels or blurriness may be seen for newer movies and TV shows. HD is considered the standard for TV shows produced today, so you may miss out on the finer details on newer viewing options. The Standard Plan is a good compromise between these three, as users can watch in HD and can have two screens going at the same time. As for the Premium Plan, 4K streaming is available while up to four screens can watch at once.
The main reason Netflix has higher prices than Disney Plus is because of the larger content library it has. Although Disney Plus has five distinct categories – Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic – it simply is not as large in volume as Netflix, that has over 6000 movies and around 1000 TV shows. Not to say that Disney Plus doesn’t have enough options on it, Netflix just has more. Since we are focusing specifically on price though, Disney Plus is a better bang for your buck, despite the fact that there may be less options on it.
Disney Plus one, Netflix zero.
Another important factor is how up-to-date the service is. Some people may not consider this when deciding which one to purchase, but I think it is a pretty major piece of criteria. I say this because my family and I have been long time Netflix users, and I have to admit, that makes me biased. At a certain point, scrolling through Netflix, looking for a movie to watch but realizing there is nothing new or that you have watched everything there is to watch, is my issue.
Disney Plus on the other hand, is completely new to me. It came out in November and although that was 5 months ago, I have not been on it as much as one would think. But during these physical distancing times, it has been one of my main sources of entertainment. Because Disney is the company that owns all the movies they produce and eventually put on Disney Plus, they don’t have to go through licensing processes or pay to have content streamed. That’s why movies such as Frozen 2 and Onward are on it already even though they were released in the past few months. Having the option of viewing new movies and shows is great, and again, since Disney Plus is still so new to us, there are many things to watch because we haven’t had it for very long.
On the other hand, the way Netflix decides what to put on their service and when to put it on, is actually quite an interesting process. Yes, they do have to get a license from whichever company is producing films they want – and pay a fee for streaming the media – but they also use analytics to find out what people want to see. On every movie and show, there is a thumbs up and a thumbs down icon that users can select to indicate if they enjoyed what they watched or not. There is also a panel of films that are titled “recommended for you,” which have been compiled from things you have previously watched.
According to Jenny McCabe, the Director of Global Media Relations for Netflix, “we often license TV shows and movies on an exclusive basis, so we can provide a unique experience. We can’t licence everything and also maintain our low prices, so we look for those titles that deliver the biggest viewership relative to the licensing cost. This also means that we’ll forego, or choose not to renew some titles that aren’t watched enough, relative to their cost.”
So basically, what people are and are not watching determines what goes on Netflix. Not everyone has the same taste in movies and TV shows, so if you fall under the category of people who loved a movie that everyone else hated, you might be out of luck since relying on strangers to determine what will be released on Netflix may not be in your favour.
For this reason, Disney Plus two, Netflix zero.
Finally, and perhaps the most crucial criterion: the content.
I selected three criteria to use, and since Disney Plus has taken the win on the first two, you might be wondering what the point of this last comparison is. Well, so far Disney Plus has proven itself more superior to Netflix, but it may not take the cake on this one. In spite of Disney Plus having almost all Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic content available for its users, truth be told, that is all it has.
Netflix undoubtedly has more genres of films and TV shows to choose from and that makes it more intriguing. If you love horror movies, Disney Plus is not for you. If you love westerns or crimes, Disney Plus is not for you. If you like action and drama, or even international movies, Netflix has most likely got it, not Disney Plus.
What makes Disney Plus so appealing to me, though, is the shows I used to watch when I was kid. My absolute favourites were The Suite Life on Deck, Wizards of Waverly Place, Hannah Montana, Jonas L.A, and the list goes on. I know for sure that I am not the only one who still appreciates watching these old shows, but at the same time, shows and movies intended for young adults are just as great. Because of the wider range of content Netflix has over Disney Plus, I think it is fair to give this one to Netflix.
So, Disney Plus two, Netflix one.
Disneyland has been referred to as “the happiest place on earth,” and if that stands to be true in anyway, Disney Plus should be the best streaming service out there, right? Well for the most part, and in my personal opinion, it is. All of our favourite childhood Disney shows and movies thrown into one service that also has earth’s mightiest heroes from Marvel and adorable Pixar films like Up and Cars, is exactly what I need right about now. If you’re similar to me and love these throwback movies and TV shows, Disney Plus is the way to go. Yet, if you are not the Disney loving type, Netflix is still a great streaming service.
If you’re on the fence about which service to try or what to watch, take my advice and give Disney Plus a try.