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Disney Plus vs Netflix: Which streaming service should you choose?
While Disney Plus might not have nearly the volume of content as you’ll find with Netflix, a surprising number of people are actually ditching the established king of streaming for Disney’s new service. Until 2019, Disney actually worked with Netflix, giving the company the rights to stream a selection of its recent movies. Disney also launched a number of original shows on Netflix, including many Marvel TV series that are still available for streaming on Netflix.
That era is over. The team behind Disney Plus hopes its deep family-friendly library of content will draw many people away from Netflix. In addition, Disney Plus has a small lineup of original shows and movies. That includes the Star Wars action series The Mandalorian. Even more content is coming to the service, including new Star Wars, Marvel, and Pixar based shows.
Read more: What’s new on Disney Plus
So in the battle between Disney Plus vs Netflix, which one should you pick if you had to only subscribe to one? We will give you our opinion, but ultimately it’s up to you to decide which service will be streamed on your set-top box, smartphone, tablet, game console, or smart TV.
Disney Plus vs Netflix: Price
Disney Plus currently costs $7.99 a month. Disney is also offering an annual subscription that’s priced at $79.99 a year. There is also a bundle deal that allows buyers to get Disney Plus, Hulu (with ads), and ESPN Plus for $13.99 a month. That cuts the price of an individual Disney Plus subscription to $4.33 a month. You can get the same bundle, but with no ads on Hulu, for $19.99 a month. Finally, Verizon Wireless unlimited customers can get either six months or one year of Disney Plus for free. That offer extends to Verizon’s Fios and 5G home internet subscribers.
Netflix is more expensive. Its lowest price tier for most territories is $8.99 a month, which supports one concurrent stream and 480p video resolution. The second tier costs $13.99 a month, with two concurrent streams and 1080p resolution. The third tier costs $17.99 a month, with four streams at the same time and 4K resolution support. Netflix recently did away with its long-running 30-day free trial offer for new subscribers in the US.
To be fair, Netflix is experimenting with “mobile only” subscriptions in certain markets. The price for that tier, which is only for smartphones and tablets, is less than $5 a month, where it is available. However, Netflix has not made it available in most of its countries. Even though it doesn’t have a free trial anymore, Disney Plus wins the price war, at least for now.
Disney Plus vs Netflix: Platforms
Disney Plus apps are available for Android and iOS mobile devices. It also supports Chromecast devices, as well as TVs with built-in Chromecast capabilities. It’s also available for Android TV televisions and set-top boxes like the NVIDIA Shield.
Disney Plus can be streamed on a PC on web browsers, but specifics have not been revealed. Disney Plus apps are available for Microsoft’s Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S and Sony’s PlayStation 4 and 5 consoles, too. It’s also on Roku TVs, streaming sticks and set-top boxes, Amazon Fire TV sticks, and televisions. Android TV devices, Vizio smart TVs, and Samsung and LG smart TVs have their own Disney Plus apps. There’s been no confirmation of a Disney Plus app for the Nintendo Switch, even though a slide from Disney’s 2019 investor day event showed the app running on the Switch.
As far as Netflix is concerned in terms of availability, the question is what devices don’t support it. It’s available for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, and it supports Roku and Amazon Fire TV-based devices, Chromecast devices, and TVs with built-in Chromecast. It also supports Android TV-based televisions and set-top boxes. Of course, Netflix is available via a variety of web browsers for PC laptops and desktops.
Netflix is also available on a ton of game consoles. That includes Microsoft’s Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S, Sony’s PlayStation 4 and 5, and even Nintendo’s Wii U and 3DS. Apps are available for a variety of smart TVs, cable boxes, and even Blu-Ray players.
It looks like Netflix wins the platform category, at least during the launch, although Disney Plus could catch up later.
Disney Plus vs Netflix: Availability
This category is pretty easy to give to Netflix, considering Netflix has had a huge head start on Disney Plus. It’s currently in about 190 countries and territories. Only four countries don’t have Netflix: China, North Korea, Crimea, and Syria.
By contrast, Disney Plus launched in the US, Canada, Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand. It expanded to other territories in Europe, including the UK, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, and Switzerland, along with India, in March 2020.
It added France in April 2020, and Japan in June 2020. It launched in Belgium, Portugal, Luxembourg, and the Nordics in September 2020. It launched in Latin America in November 2020. Eastern Europe and the rest of Asia Pacific might have to wait until 2021 for the service to launch in those territories.
Netflix content library
Netflix also has a huge head start on Disney Plus in terms of its library. It has a massive selection of older TV shows and movies, and a huge library of original content that’s growing almost daily. Netflix may be losing some of that content in the future content to rivals like HBO Max, Hulu, and Peacock. However, it’s also spending lots of money to fill up its service with tons of exclusive shows and movies.
In 2019 Netflix premiered movies like The Irishman, the long-awaited new gangster movie from director Martin Scorsese. The service also launched the first season of the fantasy series The Witcher in late 2019. Let’s not forget about 6 Underground, the latest big-budget action flick from director Michael Bay and starring Ryan Reynolds. In 2020 it launched even more new shows and movies, including Space Force, Da 5 Bloods, Extraction, The Queen’s Gambit, Bridgerton, and many more. Plus, you can go back and check out older originals like Stranger Things, Black Mirror, Russian Doll, and much, much more.
Keep in mind that Netflix has content, both classic and exclusive, for all ages and audiences.
Disney Plus content library
Unlike another rival service that launched in November 2019, Apple TV Plus, Disney Plus does not have an issue with a lack of content. It draws upon its vast library of content from its Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic divisions. It even has some movies and shows it acquired from its purchase of 20th Century Fox. That’s thousands of TV episodes and movies to stream.
Disney Plus also has a selection of original content as well. That includes the hit Star Wars live-action show The Mandalorian. There are also a number of original movies you can stream, including some that were originally set for a theatrical release, such as Artemis Fowl and Soul. The service also has a lot of original reality competition shows and documentaries to stream. In September, Disney Plus subscribers could watch the long-awaited live-action version of its animated movie Mulan. However, subscribers had to pay an additional $29.99, on top of the $6.99 a month fee, to purchase the movie, at least at first. The service did the same thing in March 2021 with the release of the animated movie Raya and the Last Dragon and in May 2021 with Cruella. It will use the same business model for two more movies: Black Widow, and Jungle Cruise.
While the number of original shows and movies on Disney Plus is currently low compared to Netflix, that will change over the next 12 to 18 months. It will be the exclusive home for a number of other original movies and TV shows. They will include new Star Wars live-action series. There are also 12 live-action TV series set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that will be streamed on Disney Plus. It started in 2021 with WandaVision, and continued with The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and more recently Loki.
In many international markets, Disney Plus has added a new section, Star, that included more mature content, mostly from its 20th Century Fox content library. The US will not see that happen on Disney Plus as the company plans to keep that kind of content on its separate Hulu service. The Mandalorian is about as “adult” as you can expect from a series from Disney Plus in the US.
If you really want more hard-hitting content, and you live in the US, your best bet is Netflix. However, Disney Plus plans to offer more mature content in other markets, via Star, in the near future.
Both services don’t feature any ads or commercials while using them. Both Disney Plus and Netflix support downloading of content for offline viewing. Both will also support streaming shows and movies at 4K resolution, but you have to pay a lot more for that privilege on Netflix. Disney Plus will support streaming for up to 10 devices at once, with up to four concurrent streams at once. Netflix’s limit is four people for each account. Again, though, you have to pay extra for that support.
Disney Plus has support for up to seven custom individual profiles per account. Kids can see the shows and movies they are interested in, while their older parents can see their preferred content. Netflix only supports up to five profiles per account.
Disney Plus also has a Kids Mode. It includes parental controls so moms and days can keep their kids from seeing content that’s out of their age group. Netflix also has parental controls that let parents restrict the content that their kids can watch as well. We prefer the parental controls on Netflix as they give you more freedom to block out selected content.
And the winner is…
Obviously, if you are not in one of the countries where Disney’s service is available, this battle of Disney Plus vs Netflix goes to Netflix. If you are lucky enough to be in one of the Disney Plus territories, you have an interesting choice to make. Disney Plus has a much lower price, but its library of content, while pretty large, doesn’t compare to Netflix. Also, Netflix has it beat with the number of its original TV shows and movies, and that will be the case for years to come. Finally, Disney Plus is currently targeting kids and families with its content. If you are looking for content that’s more adult and edgier in the US, Netflix wins hands down.
On the other hand, if you do have kids, or just love watching classic and current movies and TV shows from Disney, it’s hard to ignore Disney Plus. Star Wars fans can now watch all the films, plus new content, in 2020. Marvel fans can watch most of the MCU movies immediately and, more importantly, a ton of original shows in 2020 and 2021. Pixar fans now have all of the films to binge-watch right off the bat. If all of that appeals to you, then Disney Plus is likely the winner.
In the end, it’s likely that many people will buy subscriptions to both Disney Plus and Netflix, at least for the time being. Disney Plus also has the option of a cheaper (per month) yearly subscription, something that Netflix, for unknown reasons, has never offered its customers. Only time will tell if Disney Plus’ mix of classic content and exclusive series and movies will put a dent in Netflix’s subscriber numbers long-term but so far Disney Plus has certainly made a big splash.
Who would you pick in the battle of Netflix vs Disney Plus?