Op-Ed, Opinion

Netflix really shouldn’t worry about Disney+

After slowly dragging all of their content off of streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu for the past year or so, it was huge news that Disney was announcing its own streaming service. Everyone started asking the question of whether Netflix should be worrying about the largest media company coming for its brand.

Truthfully, Netflix shouldn’t worry. Netflix paved the way for everyone else in the streaming industry. Hulu, Prime, HBO and now Disney+ should all be thanking Netflix for breaking the ground and starting the empire that is television and film streaming. This competition between services is all one big game of follow the leader, and Netflix is that leader.

Netflix has mastered creating its own original content as well. It seems like every time I log on, there’s another original film or television series being promoted. I could never picture myself giving up Netflix’s original series such as “Stranger Things.”

Music powerhouses have been turning to Netflix to pump out new content. Beyonce and Cardi B have used Netflix to premiere new shows and documentaries in the past year. Beyonce’s “Homecoming” was one of the largest musical events of the year, and critics raved about both the documentary and Beyonce’s performance. “Rhythm and Flow, the television series that Cardi B has been starring in has been hailed by critics as the “American Idol” for rap.

The company’s original content is huge. Netflix has racked up one of the most impressive collections of accolades for a streaming series that just debuted this decade. From Academy Awards to Guild Awards to Golden Globes, Netflix has it all. It has collected a whopping 280 Emmy nominations, with 94 wins for standout shows such as “Orange Is the New Black,” “Black Mirror” and “Stranger Things.”

This is all just from recent years, as Netflix only introduced streaming media this decade. Sure, awards don’t mean everything, but that’s an impressive feat for anyone and proves how monumental of a service it is.

Disney+ might have the appeal of a great deal of nostalgia, given that the company produced some of the television shows and movies that defined our childhood. Netflix has already tackled that problem. In recent months, Netflix has reached an agreement with other children’s networks, and they have been uploading content from Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network.

I couldn’t get on Twitter for the past month without seeing someone talking about
“Victorious,” which was just added to Netflix, and I am definitely not complaining. If Netflix releases “Drake & Josh,” “iCarly,” “Zoey 101” or “The Amanda Show,” you can bet I am having a huge streaming party with all of my friends.

Disney+ currently maintains a lower price than Netflix. However, this is likely because there is a lack of content on there in comparison to competitors. As Disney uploads more of its content to the service, it can be expected that the price will go up, creating no monetary difference between either service.

There are still technological pros to keeping Netflix as the dominant streaming service. It is undeniable that Netflix’s user interface is the best of any of its competitors. Netflix also allows users to download content for offline viewing, which other services do not currently allow.

None of this is meant to say that Disney+ will not be madly successful. Disney is a brand that’s virtually unstoppable, and its new service is already a craze for anyone who is a fan of film and television. I have already found myself watching the platform with friends to see some of the shows that started our obsessions with the biggest celebrities of today, including Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers.

Only time can tell which service will truly take the industry by storm, but one thing is clear: Netflix is currently far too powerful to be taken out by anyone.

Jarrod Houseknecht is a sophomore majoring in communication studies and public advocacy.

December 2, 2019

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Jarrod Houseknecht


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