After months of hype—and a literal three-hour trailer— Disney Plus finally touches down today. It does so with all the trappings of a hit: a competitive price, popular franchises stacked to the ceiling, Forky.
Even more important to its inevitable success, though, is what it exhibits few signs of growing pains. Athena seems like a hifalutin metaphor for yet another streaming service from a multinational megacorp.
But go with it for a second, because it gets at what makes Disney+ singular more than the ever-expanding Star Wars universe ever could. It’s that Disney+ is bursting into existence fully formed, straight from the noggin of Disney CEO Bob Iger.
A bigger and better advantage
It’s hard to overstate the advantage this gives Disney Plus over fellow newcomers like Apple TV+ and the forthcoming HBO Max.
And it’s important to understand that Disney’s head start comes not only from its extensive back catalog of TV shows and movies but also from a technological prowess in this space that few companies can match.
Start with the fun part. At launch, Disney Plus will bring to bear the full power of not just Mickey and friends but Marvel, Pixar, and Star Wars, along with a heaping helping of Fox and National Geographic. It’ll have fewer total hours of stuff to watch than Netflix does, but also substantially less filler.
One in all Disney Plus
More importantly, it can offer most of those movies and TV shows from day one, including franchises with shelf lives that are measured in the decades.
A few exceptions, like Mary Poppins Returns, are tied up with licensing agreements elsewhere but will make it over the transom eventually. That means Disney+ will enter the market at $7 per month with confirmed hits, rather than plodding through years of trial and error to find a show or two that sticks.