Disney+ Leading Streaming Wars Despite Numbers

Netflix might have 5,800 more titles than Disney+, but it seems that Disney+ is winning the streaming battle. I think I know why… even though Stuart Sweet doesn’t get it.

Netflix and Disney by the Numbers

Ever since Disney announced it was creating a streaming service, people wondered if it would compete against Netflix. Some people think that it is, and the results of that will vary. If you take a look at the numbers alone, there doesn’t seem to be much competition between the two. Netflix has more than 5,800 titles while Disney+ has just under 800 titles. My colleague Stuart Sweet lamented Disney+’s lack of content in a rather ridiculous rant of his.

There are other reasons why Netflix should be edging Disney+ out in the streaming ranks. Disney execs don’t plan on bringing any R-rated content to the company’s streaming service. Netflix, on the other hand, has plenty of that type of content. It also has a decent amount of childrens programming. So, Netflix looks the better investment, at least for those who have to choose between one streaming service or the other.

It’s the Same with Hulu

In December, Hulu plans to add 102 new TV shows and movies to its on-demand service. For those who dig numbers, Hulu will add about one-eighth of Disney’s total catalog in one month. Four of those new programs will be Hulu originals. That’s a pretty big deal but people expect Hulu to add new content each month by now. So, does this mean I’m saying “get Hulu or Netflix instead of Disney+?” Not at all!

While numbers are important, it’s not the only thing people rely on when they make their buying decisions. There’s a huge emotional component that factors into people’s buying decisions. This reality escapes Stuart because he’s basically a robot. Think Data from Star Trek with half the charm. What Stuart doesn’t realize is that Disney+ has something that Hulu and Netflix don’t have…

…“Baby Yoda”

…That’s right. The character from The Mandalorian, the latest release in the Star Wars series, resembles an infant Yoda. Apparently, this little green goblin thing has struck a chord with people. Over the weekend, Baby Yoda memes took the Internet by storm. No amount of money can buy that kind of buzz. To be clear, I’m not saying that Baby Yoda is the reason why Disney+ seems to be the streaming leader. It’s just an example of something bigger.

Simply put, the newest, shiniest things are what grabs people’s attention. It doesn’t matter if it’s a trinket or bauble; if it has a dazzling or sparkling display, it grabs people’s attention. Disney+ is one of the latest streaming services out there, which makes it rather “shiny.” People don’t care that there are only 800 titles because they can’t get those titles anywhere else. As a result, the perceived value of Disney+ is through the roof compared to “same old” Netflix.

Stuart doesn’t get the appeal of the whole Baby Yoda thing. It flew right over his head because he’s a diehard Star Trek purist. Shows like The Mandalorian are too cool for him. He probably thinks Captain Kirk, with his phaser set to stun, would be a match for Boba Fett and his entire arsenal. #laughable

What Will Happen?

The newness of Disney+ will eventually wear off. Again, that’s not a shot at Disney, it’s just a fact of consumer attitudes and trends. Will Disney+ have its fans? Absolutely. The streaming service offers content that you can see anywhere else, including Disney as well as Marvel Comics, Star Wars, Pixar, NatGeo, and more. At some point, Disney+ will have to add more content, but I don’t see that being a problem. I mean, the company already owns it… it’s just a matter of deciding when they want to make it available.

I’m fully aware that Stuart will disagree with everything I posted here. It’s kind of his thing. I also wouldn’t be surprised if he attempts to filet me in the comments section below. That would mean he was able to pull himself away from his Star Trek reruns on his 13” tube TV long enough to respond to this. (He still believes that’s how those original episodes were “meant to be seen.”) The rest of us Disney+ is doing just fine… at least until AT&T’s HBO Max comes along.