Streaming Service Showdown This Fall
By: Lorena Richiezcombas
Last November, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that the company would be launching a streaming service called Disney+. Last April, the biennial D23 conference served as an opportunity to announce what would be arriving on the platform. Among these: several new Marvel series dedicated to some of the brand’s more obscure heroes, reboots of classic Disney shows such as Lizzie McGuire, and Jeff Goldblum’s new documentary-style show The World According to Jeff Goldblum, all alongside your favorite Disney classics.
The service launches November 12th this year and will start at $7/month or $70/ year. This is about the same price range as Netflix, which announced a price hike back in April, raising its basic plan from $8 to $9 per month. As of yet, it has not been revealed whether Disney+ will follow suit of its predecessors and offer several tiers of membership such as basic and premium options.
But with the arrival of Disney+ comes the loss of any Disney, 21st Century Fox, Marvel, and Star Wars content from other services like Hulu, Netflix, and Prime Video. Each of which has been moving toward producing more original content and live TV (Hulu offers what is basically glorified cable at $45/month for 55 channels.) Disney+, however, can be bundled with ESPN+ and Hulu for $13/ month.
HBO will also be launching a new streaming service named HBO Max which they announced in October of 2018. The arrival of HBO Max complicates things a bit as HBO already offers two streaming services, HBO Now and HBO Go. HBO Max will offer original HBO programming, as well as content from WarnerMedia and its properties which include: DC Comics, Warner Bros., Cartoon Network, The CW, CNN, some BBC programs, Studio Ghibli films, Adult Swim, and many more. It has also reached a deal with Viacom for the rights of several shows including South Park. It will also release any CW series a month before they air on television. Any members subscribed to HBO Now will automatically be signed up for HBO Max at no extra cost.
HBO Max will be released in May 2020 for $14.99/month. What’s the difference between the three services? Not much other than the amount of content offered (HBO Max is considered the most “deluxe” option.) Recently, Apple launched AppleTV+ which will focus mainly on original content. The service will include eight new original programs and one new documentary each month for $4.99/month. Apple also announced that, starting on November 1, 2019, anyone who purchases a new Apple product from their core lineup will receive one year free.
Other services include the already- existing Prime Video, Shudder, and CuriosityStream and the upcoming Peacock from NBC, Discovery/BBC, and AT&TTV.
The jury is out on how this will affect the godfather of streaming, Netflix. The company has already suffered a major loss earlier this year after an announcement that Friends would be moving to HBO Max, causing massive uproar. Netflix ended up paying AT&T $100 million to keep the series through 2020.