‘Disney+’ competitive in streaming service battle

After years of announcements and preparations, Disney’s streaming service is finally here and ready to compete with Netflix, Apple TV+ and HBO Max. Disney+ made its debut on Tuesday, Nov. 12 and, while it had some technical difficulties in its launch, many viewers are feeling satisfied and nostalgic.

One of the strengths of Disney+ is its price, as it offers a monthly subscription for $6.99, or $69.99 if you decide to pay for a whole year, giving it the higher ground when compared to most of its competitors. It ends up being cheaper if you decide to pay the yearly price of $69.99, as that comes out to $5.83 a month. Another of its strengths is all the content you will get for that price, as Disney+ offers films and TV shows from Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, 20th Century Fox and National Geographic.

In the first 24 hours, the Disney+ app was downloaded 3.2 million times, according to Apptopia. While most people were generally satisfied with the service, it wasn’t smooth sailing for everyone who downloaded it.

As eager new subscribers tried to sign up for the streaming service Tuesday morning, complaints spread about glitches and service outages on social media, but the disruptions declined after the first day, according to Downdetector.

“The consumer demand for Disney+ has exceeded our highest expectations,” Disney said in a statement on Tuesday. “While we are pleased by this incredible response, we are aware of the current user issues and are working to swiftly resolve them. We appreciate your patience.”

Sean McNealy, a graduate journalism student at DePaul, said he was eager to download the service on the first day, but also experienced some technical difficulties that were eventually fixed.

“I couldn’t log in and an image of Wreck-It Ralph and Vanellope appeared and said it couldn’t connect,” McNealy said. “It started working around noon for me. I signed up for Disney+ because it seemed like a really great streaming option. I like it so far despite the lag in service that occurred at its launch. I also like the number of options on the platform because there’s tons of nostalgic content.”

Other students, however, weren’t as eager to subscribe on the day of because they feel there are already too many streaming services that are adding up.

“If Disney+ somehow was a free add on to Netflix or Hulu, which I already have, then I would be more interested,” said Rachel Kennaugh, a political science student at DePaul. “I understand the nostalgia of Disney since we grew up with those films and $7 is pretty cheap, but that’s still an extra $7 getting added to my monthly bills.”

Disney+ offers classic entertainment from its wide variety of new and old options including those animated films we grew up with. Disney also is ramping up a slate of original shows and movies, the most anticipated among them being the big-budget “Star Wars” spinoff, “The Mandalorian.”

Instead of having all the episodes available to stream immediately, Disney decided to release “The Mandalorian” episodes weekly. The second episode will be available to stream Friday, Nov. 15 and then from there episodes will come out every Friday. Disney also has seven live action series featuring some of the stars of the “Avengers” movies in their own shows coming out in 2020 and 2021.

While some are frustrated with having to wait week-to-week for each episode, others think it’s a good idea to have this kind of format, especially for streaming services.

“I think certainly when they’re starting the streaming service, they’re going to want something that’s going to keep people coming back,” said Paul Booth, a media and cinema studies professor at DePaul. “If you imagine your ‘Star Wars’ fans, they just want to see the next new thing, if it all came out in the same day, they’d sign up for their seven-day free trial, watch ‘The Mandalorian’ and then shut it off. This formula will at least keep people coming back and keeps people hooked.”

Disney+ is also offering a bundle deal with Hulu and ESPN+ for $12.99 a month, but it’s important to note that the bundle includes Hulu with ads. If you were to sign up for all three separately you would be paying a total of $17.97 a month. This is the only bundle available for now, and just like the monthly subscription to Disney+, the price might change in the future. Disney also made a deal with Verizon to give the carrier’s unlimited wireless customers a free year of Disney+.

So, is Disney+ worth paying for? Basically, if you love ”Star Wars” or Marvel or “The Simpsons,” or if you have kids, you may find yourself considering yet another streaming service subscription. Luckily for you, Disney+ is one of the cheapest streaming options out there and offers over 500 films and 7,500 episodes of television.