Until just recently, 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 friendly 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 huge lineup of original shows and movies that are poised to rival anything on Netflix. That includes one of 2019’s most anticipated TV shows, the Star Wars action series The Mandalorian.
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 costs $6.99 a month, with a seven-day free trial. Disney is also offering an annual subscription that’s priced at $69.99 a year. The company gave people a chance to purchase a three-year subscription to Disney Plus for about a week in late August and early September for $140.97.
There is also a bundle deal that allows buyers to get Disney Plus, Hulu (with ads), and ESPN Plus for $12.99 a month. That cuts the price of an individual Disney Plus subscription to $4.33 a month. Finally, Verizon Wireless unlimited customers will get one year of Disney Plus for free. That offer will extend to Verizon’s Fios and 5G home internet subscribers.
Netflix is more expensive. It’s lowest price tier for most territories is $8.99 a month, which supports one concurrent stream and 480p video resolution. The second tier costs $12.99 a month, with two concurrent streams and 1080p resolution. The third tier costs $15.99 a month, with four streams at the same time and 4K resolution support.
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. It looks like 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 Sony’s PlayStation 4 consoles, too. It will also launch on Roku TVs, streaming sticks and set-top boxes, Amazon Fire TV sticks, and televisions. Samsung and LG smart TVs will have their own Disney Plus app. There’s been no confirmation of a Disney Plus app for the Nintendo Switch, even though a slide from Disney’s 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, Sony’s PlayStation 4, 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 is launching just in the U.S., Canada, and the Netherlands. It will expand to Australia and New Zealand on November 19. It will take a while to roll out in other parts of the world, mainly due to older license agreements to Disney content that are still valid by other networks. Disney Plus will expand to the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain starting on March 31, 2020.
Netflix content library
Netflix also has a huge head start on Disney Plus in terms of content 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.
Just in November and December, Netflix will premiere movies like The Irishman, the long-awaited new gangster movie from director Martin Scorsese. The service will also launch the first season of the highly anticipated first season of the fantasy series The Witcher. It will also drop 6 Underground, the latest big-budget action flick from director Michael Bay and starring Ryan Reynolds. 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.
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Disney Plus content library
Unlike another rival service that launched in November, Apple TV Plus, Disney Plus will not have an issue with a lack of content. It will draw upon the vast library of content from its Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic divisions. It will even have 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 will also have a selection of original content as well. For the actual launch date, here’s what you can expect to be available.
- Noelle: A Christmas movie starring Anna Kendrick as the daughter of Santa Claus
- Lady and the Tramp: A live action-CGI remake of the classic Disney animated film
- The Mandalorian: A 10-episode live-action TV series based in the Star Wars universe
- The Imagineering Story: A six-part docu-series that focuses on the works of the Disney Imagineers
- Sparkshorts: A series of new CGI short subjects from Pixar
- Pixar in Real Life: Classic Pixar movie characters will interact with real humans in a “Candid Camera” type of way
- Forky Asks A Question: A series of shorts featuring Forky, the new character from Toy Story 4
- Marvel’s Hero Project: A series about kids who are making a difference in their communities
That’s just the start. Disney Plus will also be the exclusive home for a number of other original movies and TV shows. They will include a sequel to the classic Disney Channel show Lizzie McGuire, as well as two new Star Wars live-action series. There are also seven live-action TV series set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that will be streamed on Disney Plus.
It’s clear that Disney is not going to be offering any TV shows and movies that would be rated R and above. The Mandalorian is about as “adult” as you can expect from a series. Therefore, if you really want more hard-hitting content, your best bet is Netflix.
Both services don’t feature any ads or commercials while using them. However, it was recently revealed that Disney Plus will show an ad for the cable TV network Starz on its login screen for Android devices and web browsers. Once you log in to the service, Disney Plus will be ad-free.
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 will have 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 will also have a Kids Mode. It will include 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 lets parents restrict the content that their kids can watch as well.
And the winner is…
Obviously, if you are not in one of the launch countries for Disney’s service, this battle of Disney Plus vs Netflix goes to Netflix. If you are lucky enough to be in one of the launch territories, you have an interesting choice to make. Disney Plus will have a much lower price, but its library of content, while pretty large, doesn’t compare to Netflix. Also, Netflix has it beat on the number of its original TV shows and movies, and that will be the case for years to come. Finally, Disney Plus is targeting kids and families with its content. If you are looking for content that’s more adult and edgier, 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 will get nearly all the films, plus new content. Marvel fans will get a selection of movies immediately and, more importantly, a ton of original shows in 2020 and 2021. Pixar fans will have almost 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.