YourTechReport

Is Disney's streaming service worth the price? Marc and Mitchell break down Disney+

Episode Summary

Disney's streaming service Disney+ launches in just a couple months. What will it offer and is it worth spending $8.99 US? Marc Aflalo and Mitchell Whitfield debate just that question and the answer seems to be a resounding - YES!

Episode Notes

Disney's streaming service Disney+ launches in just a couple months. What will it offer and is it worth spending $8.99 US? Marc Aflalo and Mitchell Whitfield debate just that question and the answer seems to be a resounding - YES!

Episode Transcription

Speaker 1: Welcome back to YourTechReport.

Marc: It is YourTechReport with Marc Aflalo and Mitchell Whitfield. Thank you guys for being here. Thank you for following along on all the social media as well. It is @YourTechReport if you haven't actually discovered that just yet. Mitchell, I wanted to talk about Disney+ streaming. I signed up for the Disney Fan Club, which is D23, they call it, because there's a sale going on right now, I don't know if it's still going on, where you can prepay for three years, it's like $144. Okay? I saw that and I counted. I did the math in my head and I'm like, "Okay. Well that's a pretty damn good deal. That's like $4 a month." Then, I got talking about it with some people. We talked about the whole geolocation thing and the fact that Netflix has different content in the States and Canada, UK, etc etc. Hulu doesn't even exist in Canada. You can't even get Hulu here.

Mitchell: Which is crazy, but yeah. Go ahead.

Marc: Which is nuts. Can you, from the US perspective, Disney+ will include ESPN?

Mitchell: Yeah.

Marc: Correct?

Mitchell: Yeah, because Disney owns ABC and ESPN. Yes, we're talking ESPN. Go ahead.

Marc: And it will include Hulu content, right? Or a Hulu subscription.

Mitchell: I wasn't even going to go there. I have to check that out. I don't know.

Marc: We'll check this out while we do this.

Mitchell: Check that out while we do this, but we're talking about Disney's full library of proprietary Disney shows, movies. Okay? We're talking about Marvel's complete library of movies. We're talking about Star Wars complete library. We're talking about The Simpsons' complete library. Go ahead. Yeah.

Marc: Okay, so let me pause there for a second. There will be a bundle for Disney+ and Hulu and ESPN, which is going to be 12.99, which makes all that stuff worth it.

Mitchell: Right, so you're still paying separately for the Hulu? Yeah.

Marc: I was having this conversation Labor Day weekend. I was talking about all the different things and someone said, "Oh great. Another $8 I'm going to have to spend," to which I brought up, "Well, if you sign up now, you get a good deal." I said, "But think about it." When we first heard about Disney+, my mind went to probably where everybody else's mind is or went, which was, "Oh great. Another service that I'm going to subscribe to just so I can watch a couple of shows."

Marc: Every announcement that has come from Disney+ about the service and about the original content that span the Star Wars universe, that span the Marvel universe, that span the historical archives of all of these properties, this is like a no-brainer. This is not a question anymore. This is, "I must have this." Otherwise. I'm not going to see Star Wars content directed by Jon Favreau. This is not crappy stuff.

Mitchell: No, this is real. Listen, the one thing, and you touched on something that was kind of genius that I was going to bring up, so here's the thing, the one thing that you worry about when you're paying for a new streaming service, if you already have Amazon Prime and you're thinking about getting Hulu, if you already have Netflix and you're worried about getting blah, blah, blah, you worry about redundancy, right? You're like, "Well, here I am. What am I really paying for? I'm paying for a couple of maybe proprietary shows, a couple of exclusive shows but, for the most part, I'm getting a lot of the same stuff that I could get here, here or here. Right?"

Mitchell: No, no, no. Not so much for Disney because I know what people are thinking, oh, I can see the Marvel movies now on Netflix. I can see the Star Wars stuff on one of the other services. I could do all this on other services, but that's only today. Once Disney service launches, once Disney+ launches and once the deals that are currently in place with other streaming services, other pay channels, HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, once those deals are done, the only place you will be able to see Star Wars, the only place you'll be able to see the Marvel movies, streamed, pay-per-view, whatever you want, I think it's going to be streaming, I guess, the only place you will be able to see there is Disney+. That is it folks.

Mitchell: People that are worried about, oh I can already get this here, that's just today while those deals are still going. Once the deals that Disney made with other streaming services and paid channels to show their content, once those deals are done, everything Disney owns will come to their own channel. That's going to be what separates them from other companies, because they have the content and they're going to have it only on their station.

Marc: This is worldwide, guys. This is just because you think, oh well, in Canada, there's different deals, this service is going to be launching worldwide. The service is launching in the US November 12th, I believe Canada is the same date. There may be some content redundancy for the first couple of months. As these deals expire, even if you're in Canada, don't count on that stuff living anywhere else but their service. We're countdown as of right now, when we're recording this episode, 68 days, 18 hours, 23 minutes and 14 seconds.

Mitchell: Not that Marc's counting, yeah.

Marc: Yeah. It's on our website. Okay?

Mitchell: I know, I know. I'm teasing.

Marc: We're talking about, I mean Star Wars The Mandalorian, Disney's Lady and the Tramp, Disney's Noelle, High School Musical the Series, Hero Project.

Mitchell: This is exclusive content.

Marc: This is all exclusive.

Mitchell: Yeah, for their... Yeah.

Marc: Monsters at Work from the Monsters Inc universe, Falcon and Winter Soldier, WandaVision, Marvel's What If?

Mitchell: I'll be watching every one of these, by the way. Go ahead. Yeah.

Marc: Did you hear about Marvel's What If? You read this incredible-

Mitchell: No, no. Tell me about it.

Marc: It's an animated series. It's a what if this happened series? What if Thanos didn't get all the Infinity Stones?

Mitchell: Oh, this is going to be great.

Marc: They're doing it in animated form and they're using all the original on film movie actors as voice actors in the series.

Mitchell: Oh that is brilliant [inaudible 00:05:30] I'm watching Marc. He's like a schoolboy. He's so excited about this. I don't blame you. I feel the same way.

Marc: Star Wars Clone Wars continues on this service. Loki. There's a Toy Story spin-off. There's so many things. There's a Frozen... I mean there's so many things.

Mitchell: Ewan McGregor, Ewan McGregor is going to be doing a Star Wars, an Obi-Wan Kenobi series, right? Ewan McGregor is doing-

Marc: Yes, reprising his old character, yes, exactly.

Mitchell: It's crazy. I mean, listen, even if it was just for the exclusive content, the originals that they're going to be doing, their original shows, I would probably dive right in. The fact that eventually this is going to be the only place you get... All right. Let's flip this around, okay?

Marc: Yeah.

Mitchell: Marc. Here we are saying, "Oh, isn't it cool? If I want to watch all these shows, I can just get Disney+. It gives me a great reason. It really incentivizes me to get Disney." Look at the other side though. Is it a little manipulative? Because here's what happens when the most powerful movie studio on the planet creates their own service. Now, they're able to take all their content and say, "Oh sorry. Now if you want to see all those movies that you've loved for the last 50 or 60 years, you've got to pay for it." I mean is this getting a little Big Brotherish? I mean there's the positive side, which is, "Oh I want to subscribe. Look at all the cool stuff I get."

Mitchell: There's another way of looking at this Marc, which is a studio creating a service that says, "Okay. Now if you want to watch our stuff, you can't get it anywhere. You're going to have to pay for it. You're not going to see it on HBO. You're going to have to pay to get your favorite shows. If you're a Star Wars or Marvel fan, this is the way you're going to have to watch it." Is there a downside to this for consumers saying, "Oh, now I feel like I'm being manipulated into spending money to get back the shows I used to get for free, or I used to get on my other services." Is there something there that you see a backlash?

Marc: I think, really, there's an unknown factor here and the unknown factor is for those who don't subscribe to a streaming service, who still wait to see things on demand or see things when your local cable provider decides to air an episode or a movie that was on from 10 years ago, will those still exist? Will those relationships where people were able to see... Think Christmas time, you get to see Charlie Brown and Peanuts Christmas Story, something like that. Will that kind of stuff still exist on regular cable television? I think it might.

Mitchell: You know why? You know why it might, every once in a while-

Marc: To tease people back into their service, yeah.

Mitchell: It's like what we said about Apple TV having an incremental update because it's a great tease. It's a great way to remind people, "Oh, we're giving you this for free. If you ever want it again, you've got to subscribe, subscribe" I mean it could be part of their genius plan, which is a little teaser or advertising for why you want to subscribe to the service. If you want more of this, you better come to us. Listen, I'm just playing the contrarian here and saying there's another side to this.

Mitchell: I could see consumers that are used to getting all these great movies, all these great Disney shows right now on their local cable, on their streaming service currently, and then saying, "Oh. You mean now if I want to watch it, I have to pay for it?" I could see there being a little bit of a backlash there. For the rest of us that are used to... It's a new model, Marc. This is the new world. We said when we started this radio show years ago, that the way people consume media is changing and the traditional model for watching television, which is sponsor driven product that requires sponsorships and if sponsors don't want to buy, if people don't want to watch, then it goes off the air, that model is disappearing for better or for worse, for the most part better.

Mitchell: There are going to be a lot of people that still are old school about consuming television, movies that don't understand this is the way for the future. Everything is going to be streaming. The nice part is it gives the consumer more control over what they watch and what they pay for. No longer are we going to see people paying for a bunch of products and maybe they'll get a couple of things they like, and most of the stuff they don't really give a you know what about. Now, we're really paying for exactly what we want. It's going to be much more of a hunt and choose kind of concept for how you consume media. This is what we're going to be seeing going forward, don't you think?

Marc: I agree wholeheartedly. I think we have to succumb to the fact that this is the way the world is going to evolve. The fact that this is a service and it's going to be launching on every platform makes it almost more accessible to the masses than any other service that's been out there, any other services launched. I mean Netflix is a great example because it's available across the board. You look at Hulu, it took some time for that service to get onto other platforms and other media streamers.

Marc: Now with iTunes being available on televisions, people have access to that stuff immediately. I'm curious to see, to know if they're going to publish any kind of subscriber numbers from the start. I'm curious to see how their original programming fares over time, because Netflix was really big about original... Actually, first, they started with just their library. Then, they spent all this money on original programming, which has become Emmy nominated, I mean Oscar nominated in some cases.

Mitchell: Same thing with Amazon. Absolutely, yeah.

Marc: Amazon as well. I think Netflix is kind of the example that people are trying to follow in the footsteps, the world, seeing Netflix trying stuff and quitting really quick. They'll try something which we all think is grossly successful and then saying, "No. We're canceling this after one season," or saying, "We're only doing two seasons of this." I'm curious to see what kind of risks they take at Disney +.

Mitchell: I was just going to bring this up. I was going to take the other side, but I know what you're saying. I don't think we see too many Netflix shows that get cut that short when you compare it to... If you compare it to network television where if a show doesn't do well in its first couple of episodes, it could be gone. We'll see a show disappear after three or four weeks because the numbers weren't there and that, once again, the sponsorships weren't there because people weren't putting money into advertising on those shows. They disappear. Right? At least you know with a Netflix show, with a Hulu show, with a Disney+ series, at the very least, you know you're getting a full season.

Mitchell: At the very least, for the most part, for most of Netflix shows, you do get two and three seasons. It's kind of rare that you see that one season, but at least you'll get a full season. I think for a lot of people that... I've had some of my favorite shows just disappear with no closure and then I'm like, "What happened?" At least you know you get some sort of closure during these shows. What I'm hearing though that is going to make the Disney series different, and, Marc, I'm sure you knew about this, we just didn't talk about it, they're not going to be dropping their shows en masse. You're not going to get a 13 episode drop to binge watch.

Marc: I didn't know this.

Mitchell: Okay. For their original... I think The Mandalorian, whatever the new Ewan McGregor show is, their Obi-Wan Kenobi series, they're going to be releasing it weekly.

Marc: Oh really?

Mitchell: I think what they're finding is, and, again, this could be a monetary thing, this could have everything to do with the money, because what they're finding is you'll have people that will binge watch an entire series, what, in a month and then cancel their subscription.

Marc: Oh, people do it in days, if not weekends even.

Mitchell: Sorry, I've done a full series in two days or one day and then just drop their subscription. What happens to... People have the ability to just watch everything they want and then cancel.

Marc: [inaudible 00:12:34] yeah.

Mitchell: Correct. If it's a weekly show, you can't do that. I'm wondering if Disney is getting really smart about this and taking away the ability for people to, "Okay. I'm going to watch this whole series in one or two days, then cancel my subscription." You can't do that with Disney.

Marc: There's a workaround, which is wait until all the episodes are out, then subscribe then, watch everything and then cancel it if you want to.

Mitchell: That's true. I think people would be hesitant to wait three or four months while all their friends are talking about this show.

Marc: Yeah, exactly. At the water cooler talking [inaudible 00:13:03].

Mitchell: Correct, correct. Plus, I think there's so much other content to be had. Selfishly Marc, I'm sure our listeners know, but if you're new to the show, I've been an actor for the last 30 years and I've, especially the last few years, done a ton of voice acting and a lot of animated shows. I'm the voice of a lot of Disney characters on this other television series. Right? I'm thinking, man, I hope all of my television series are going to find a new life on Disney+, so I can get paid all over again. Wouldn't that be nice?

Marc: Be great. Check the writing on your contract to see what's covered and what's not.

Mitchell: I mean you have to get paid some residuals, but I'm just saying, I would love to know that, oh, are these shows that I've been on, are they going to get a new life on Disney+?

Marc: I'm sure they are, I'm sure they are.

Mitchell: [crosstalk 00:13:43] over the last 10 years. That would be really cool. I'll buy you a soda.

Marc: Not only that, but the opportunities for new programming is going to exist.

Mitchell: That's very true.

Marc: That hopefully will work for everybody.

Mitchell: That's very true.

Marc: We've got Disney content, Pixar and Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic, so all that content coming to Disney+, which starts November 12th, 2019. 8.99 to start right now in the US, that deal's gone actually, that three year deal has gone.

Mitchell: Oh has it really gone?

Marc: Yeah. I couldn't even get it because I didn't sign up quick enough.

Mitchell: My buddy Jack signed up for it. He texted me actually and said, "I just did this. You should take a look at it." At first, I was on the fence. Do I really need it? Then, when we started talking-

Marc: Of course you need it.

Mitchell: Of course I do. I mean, listen, like I said, just the Star Wars original series stuff, I'd be all over that. The fact that, again, that's the only place you're going to be able to find... Listen, I have the majority of almost every Marvel film, either on Blu-ray or 4K Blu-ray.

Marc: Yes.

Mitchell: I've gone more of a digital road recently, especially because... Listen, Marc, the Xbox One X, it doesn't do Dolby Vision. It does not do Dolby Vision for 4K movies. It's a great 4k Blu-ray player, but it does not do Dolby Vision. The only way to get that is to get it through streaming on my Apple TV.

Marc: Oh wow, okay.

Mitchell: Yeah, so you can see where I'm going with this.

Marc: I can.

Mitchell: I'd have to get my Apple TV going to get that Disney+ subscription going.

Marc: So many things coming up that are really cool. Thank you guys for being here. He is Mitchell Whitfield in Los Angeles. I am Marc Aflalo in Montreal. Head over to yourtechreport.com, take a listen to episodes like this and way more. We'll be back soon.

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