The billion pound battle of the box: As Disney launches its new on demand TV service, Event compares the big six players so you can see which one is right for you
It wasn’t so long ago that we all paid £154.50 each year for a television licence – and that was that. Now more than 14 million of us fork out monthly subscriptions for at least one other TV service. And if you’re worried about those bills, life could be about to get more expensive as Disney is entering the fray, with a new service offering an impressive roster of shows that will appeal to many families. The pressure on your wallet has never been more intense.
It’s not surprising on demand TV is now so in demand, given the mega-budgets the streaming giants lavish on some of the most talked-about shows on the planet. Netflix spends £100 million per series for The Crown (that’s more than the cost of the actual Queen’s Sovereign Grant) and Apple’s new The Morning Show costs a similar amount, with Disney budgeting billions for its new programmes.
Disney+ launches soon and it immediately has the hungry look of a major player aiming to challenge Netflix and Amazon’s market domination
Britbox (left); The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (right)
It’s a multi-billion-pound battle for our eyeballs and not everyone will survive. They are desperate to lure us in, but what’s best for your family?
It’s a no-brainer that the world’s biggest film producer (last year’s top five grossing films were all Disney movies) now wants to be on our TVs, too, given it already owns many of the films and shows available on other services.
Disney+ launches a week on Tuesday and it immediately has the hungry look of a major player aiming to challenge Netflix and Amazon’s market domination. In the US, the service surpassed ten million sign-ups on its first day. Boasting some of the biggest franchises in TV and movie history – Disney, Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar and National Geographic – it’s safe to say this is one juggernaut of a launch.
Star Wars spin-off The Mandalorian is without doubt the big draw, but there’s plenty more, including a live-action remake of adorable Disney classic Lady And The Tramp and three new Marvel series, notably Tom Hiddleston reprising his villainous role from The Avengers in Loki.
But the big question is: at what point does subscription fatigue set in?
If you subscribed to all the major platforms, and add your TV licence fee, you wouldn’t get much change out of a grand. Extras also start to mount when you purchase newly released movies on NOW TV, or if you pay Amazon Prime for add-on channels such as StarzPlay or Discovery Channel.
So where does it all end? It’s a multi-billion-pound battle for our eyeballs and not everyone will survive. They are desperate to lure us in, but what’s best for your family?
Our on demand guide gives you the low-down on content and cost, what you get for your money and whether it’s actually worth it.
Disney’s streaming services boss Michael Paull denies that the House of Mouse is entering a streaming war, saying: ‘I see this as nothing but a big win for the consumer.’
We’ll be the judge of that.