Hello, it has been a while since I posted something that wasn’t a review on my blog! Just looking back at it, it’s been nine months since I did a post that wasn’t a review or an update or a trailer reaction, and its been fourteen months if I don’t include that post. So, I though what better time to bring an opinion piece to you than now.
If you’ve read any of my stuff, you’ll know I actually enjoy making opinion based posts. Some of my favourite posts are ones like ‘is the Marvel Cinematic Universe over-rated‘, whether or not ‘Raj has been a problem for The Big Bang Theory‘ and the fact ‘I hate horror films‘, all of these are something different from my type of usual content here at this blog. I’ve also done many other series that I’ll leave to you to find.😉
So, staying on this theme of asking questions and creating something different, I thought I’ll look at two streaming platforms that launched roughly at the same time, but seem to have had very different fates. Of course, I’m talking about Disney+ and Apple TV+, two new brand streaming services that are hoping to have a share in the market before countless more join like the upcoming HBO Max.
But, it isn’t fair to base the judgement of this question on which has had the bigger launch. So, before we start, the main question is, how do compare these two streaming services, and what should we base them on? Well, luckily, this question can be put down to three point (or at least what I think it should be judged on); new original shows, value for money regarding the back catalogue available and what the future holds for each.
The first comparison is arguably the fairest and most important way to compare the two services. It is one comparison that I think Apple has managed to claw its way back into as it seemed all was lost after what was a very rocky start. When both streaming services launched, their ‘must-see’ originals couldn’t have been any more different, but yet oddly, they were both fundamentally still so similar.
Apple went for what they thought was a dependable, sure-hit in The Morning Show, a show that boasted talent like Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell. The hope was it would be an awards contender, drawing in audiences with its success and big names. A contender it proved to be, racking up awards before its season even finished, but it seemed to fail to resonate with audiences especially to the extent of Disney’s launch show, and it seemed as though maybe Apple TV+ wasn’t here to stay.
Whereas, on the other side Disney+ hedged their bets on what they hoped would be a dependable big name franchise to sell their service; Star Wars. However, success was not assured, with Star Wars having gone through a dip in recent times. ‘The Mandalorian’ not only carried the weight of opening Disney+, but also reviving a franchise that had lost its way. And, it was a raging success, with it giving said struggling franchise a new lease of life, and genuine excitement for more self-contained stories in the Star Wars world.
So whilst, initially Disney took the biscuit, since then, arguably Disney+ has failed to really produce anything else that gets me excited since The Mandalorian. Disney does not have another big notable show that is a must-watch, as everything else seems to be aimed towards younger audiences (and this is a point that will be touched on later), like the hilariously named High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.
Disney+ is still hedging its bets on franchises selling the service, with ‘The Mandolrian’ being used to launch “The Gallery”, an extended look behind the scenes for fans. And Disney has yet to release their cream of the crop; the MCU shows. There is nothing wrong with this, as ultimately, I can’t wait to finally see the best avenger get his own series.
On the other hand. it seems Apple TV+ has gone from strength to strength, after what I thought was a mediocre Jason Momoa series called See, I was ready to abandon ship and refuse to pay any more attention to this new service. And I did, for a very long time, until, I heard a little show by the name of Defending Jacob. I gave it a go, and I was pleasantly surprised by this gripping drama as I was hooked. And, after looking at some of the other shows, I have heard positive things about Servant.
Ultimately, the new original content is an incredible indication for how this argument will go. Disney is pushing franchise originals, only allowing family-friendly content, whilst Apple goes for original content, that may not always work, but at least tries.
Okay…….. time to own up as unfortunately it seems as though I have deceived you, as this fun little argument I set up for ‘which plus is better’ stops here. As we look at the back catalogue of each service, and what each service provides, you will realise it simply isn’t a competition. Apple TV+ has a total of 20 shows and 6 films whilst Disney, has pretty much anything that has ever had the Disney name on it. plus, anything that has the name FOX on it. Plus, in order to get more content on Apple TV+, you will need to pay for it on top of your existing subscription.
But, nevertheless, taking money out of the equation, and purely looking at the content. Disney+, is the six-year-old version of myself’s dream, as a kid, I used to watch films like The Lion King, Toy Story, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Mulan, Pocahontas and Monsters Inc on repeat, forcing my sisters to watch with me. It got to the point, where as soon as Monsters Inc would finish, I would rewind the DVD and watch it again.
Not only does Disney have the upper hand of delivering old-classics but they can also deliver new films straight from the cinema, as they can put cinema films on their service instantly, like Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker. (Although, I am still waiting for Frozen II over here in England.) And, they can even put films they don’t want to release in cinemas on their service, and it still be deemed a success, like the abysmal Artemis Fowl, that I knew would be bad, but yet still watched, as I’m sure many others did.
Which leads nicely into the third and final comparison; future programming. As, I’m aware, this opinion piece has gone on for quite a while, and so, I will just wrap this up quickly. I have already explained that Disney’s plan is essentially replicating what it has done so well on the big screen on its streaming service, selling its successful franchises like the MCU which I no doubt know it will do, but the interesting argument here is regarding what Disney doesn’t want to do.
Apple TV+ is almost free to do as it pleases, with hardly any expectations, whilst Disney+ can only have a show that is in line with the Disney image. And, whilst this makes sense for Disney, its reluctance to commission shows because of fears of its image, and instead the shipping of shows over to Hulu can’t help but make me feel disappointed in the service.
I am of course, patiently awaiting the MCU shows and I will no doubt love them, but the thought of what could have been and what is, is a lingering thought in my mind that makes me ask if I’m signed up to the wrong service. After all, if all the originals that will have any weight to them will be shipped off to Hulu or completely cancelled, a great example of this is the Lizzie McGuire show, what is aimed towards me on Disney+?
I really hope you enjoyed this piece, before I started to do some research, I wanted to create a post that looked at the lack of content on Disney+. But, by looking at what Apple TV+ had to offer, I think for now, the back catalogue, and the promise of the MCU shows is enough to keep me interested in Disney+, whereas with Apple TV+, I’ll simply buy a month subscription when I see a show I like.