Disney+ took a huge shot at Netflix with its upcoming release of the movie version of Hamilton.
The film version of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s acclaimed musical was supposed to premiere in movie theaters. That idea got scrapped due to recent events. So, what does Disney do? It releases this much-talked-about musical on its streaming service. It’s not hard to determine what is the Mickey Mouse network is banking on here. They plan to trade box office profits for subscriber numbers. It sure put Stuart Sweet in meltdown mode, but will it work out that way for the streaming service?
Is Hamilton Still a Hot Commodity?
I’m not the guy to answer that question. I’ve never seen it on Broadway, and don’t have any interest in seeing the movie. (Not that I could since I don’t have Disney+.) At one point, this was the most talked-about musical in the country. Some of that discussion was highly political and controversial. We won’t get into that here because this isn’t that kind of blog.
My guess is that there are still plenty of people who are clamoring to see the film version. They’re broken up into two groups:
- Those who want to relive the “magic,” such as it is.
- Others who can’t wait to see what the hype is all about.
It really doesn’t matter if I think Hamilton is still a hot commodity or not. There are probably enough people in both groups to justify Disney’s decision. It fits in with Disney’s strategy to be the only destination for popular and exclusive content. That’s the engine driving the success of the corporation’s streaming platform:
- It gained 54.5 million subscribers in its first six months.
- It’s expected to crack 100 million subscribers by 2021.
- It’s close to its target of 60 million-90 million subscribers by 2024.
- Disney+ will soon open in Japan, the Scandinavian countries, and Latin America.
In a world where everything that counts is what can be counted, those are some impressive numbers.
The Funniest Part About All This?
It’s that Stuart Sweet doesn’t know who to root for. He dislikes Disney+ and he’s not a huge Netflix fan. He almost lost his mind when we recently discussed Hamilton’s Disney+ debut. I swear, the poor guy’s head almost exploded! I managed to capture the screen shot above before he went into total meltdown mode. Let me tell you, it was not a pretty sight!
Stuart is our in-house expert on a lot of things. If you want to know about TV antennas, satellite TV, or consumer electronics products, he’s the expert’s expert. When it comes to streaming though, he shows his other area of expertise. That would be his PhD in bitterness. There’s just something about streaming that brings out his inner bitter. Much like the picture above, that’s not a pretty picture. Luckily for all of us, I rarely let him take the reigns on this weekly column. It’s for our own good, believe me!
Speaking of sights, you can continue to see and read the latest reports from the streaming world in this weekly series. Stay tuned!