Disney+ latest shot fired in streaming wars

Streaming service includes massive back-catalog, new shows

Chris Miller
November 12, 2019 - 11:43 am

Charley Gallay/Getty Images

The "Streaming Wars" begin a new chapter today with a major producer of content now in the game: today is the day "Disney+" launches, with the Walt Disney company's huge library, and new shows. 

The streaming service is just more of what consumers can expect, as studios look to bypass traditional broadcast and cable networks and bring their products directly to audiences.

While Disney+ positions itself as an immediate competitor to Netflix or Amazon Prime video, it's not really going to take away those subscribers, says Dr. Joe Burns, communications professor at Southeastern Louisiana University. He says they'll just add more.

"Oh, I think they're all going to have it," said Burns, who said more and more of the viewing audience are more likely to instead off traditional cable.

"The younger the person is, the more they have no intention of purchasing a connection to media," explained Burns.

Tulane business professor John Healey agrees that it's the cable companies who should be nervous.

"This is going to make their services, the cable company's services, less valuable to Disney, to some degree," and Healey says it will make cable's offering less valuable to consumers, too.

Disney's services offers a huge library of content that not only includes the studio's animated classics, but also a lot of long-forgotten live-action movies from the '70s and '80s. Disney also owns Lucasfilm and Marvel, putting all of the Star Wars and Avengers and related films on the platform. 

Other studios are also planning their own streaming platforms. AT&T/Time-Warner will launch WarnerMedia in the spring of 2020 and NBCUniversal has set a mid-2020 launch for its streaming service. 

"That's exactly where this is eventually going to end up," said Healey. "You're going to get to pick and choose what's valuable to you. THat's going to have huge, huge impact on how entertainment is consumed, how entertainment is even produced."

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