Nixing Netflix and why you need to chill

The day binge-watchers have long-dreaded has finally arrived. Streaming service powerhouse Netflix has started losing its shows.

I came late into the era of binge-watching Netflix shows, but it seems like the rise and fall and rise again of online streaming services can only be a good thing. The recent launch this month of first Apple TV and then Disney+ comes with the realisation that Netflix is about to have a run for its money — or will it?

With these two new alternatives to Netflix, I can’t help but wonder if there really is a difference between the three. Doesn’t it mean the same thing if you’ve got one and not the other? Does it really benefit the audience to have multiple streaming television platforms available to them?

Apple TV and Disney+ both undoubtedly differ from one another and share a number of similarities as well. Some of the ways they have a leg-up on Netflix include pricing and content availability, but not regional availability.

Pricing

Here’s a quick comparison of pricing between the available streaming services in Australia (per month):

Apple TV

Surprising, isn’t it? That the brand most criticised for its exorbitant prices and planned obsolescence is the one offering the most competitively-priced alternative to Netflix. Of course, that isn’t to say that the prices won’t hike gradually once Apple TV builds a stable viewership. For now though, Apple’s new streaming service undercuts the Netflix prices. It’s also shareable between six family members, which is one more than the five Netflix allows.

Disney+

There is no rule out there that says you can’t be both a Netflix and Disney junkie. That being said, Disney’s latest streaming service offers a much narrower focus of Disney content. Though you’ll find things from National Geographic and 20th Century Fox, the nit and grit of adult-themed films beyond Marvel’s Avengers franchise is limited.

Content availability

Apple TV

As a service so fresh on the market, there are obvious limits to the content available on Apple TV. For now, they offer a range of original content only, created exclusively for their subscribers. Followers of Apple TV will enjoy shows like The Morning Show, Dickinson, See, Truth Be Told, and Servant. None of these might sound familiar to you now, but each features a star-studded cast that are sure to entertain.

Disney+

It goes without saying that this is a haven for all things Disney for all ages. Whether you want to relive a childhood of crying over Bambi’s mother or lament the latest live-action remakes of The Lion King and Aladdin, you’ll find it here. Disney+ offers up content from Walt Disney Studios, including Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars. Sounds like a dream come true for all the pop culture nerds out there, no?

Regional availability

Keep in mind that both of these services aren’t readily available in all countries — yet. Previous competitors of Netflix like Hulu and Vudu both made the decision of limiting their reach to audiences around the world. That includes Australia.

Meanwhile, Apple TV made its debut in Australia on 2 November 2019, being one of over 100 countries with access to its latest streaming service.

Disney+ is due to launch in Oz this week, though there are talks of delays due to unforeseen website crashes and system glitches. Despite this, it’s reassuring to hear that the brand isn’t forgetting its Aussie audiences and Disney lovers.

Bottom line and drawing the line

It’s safe to say that Disney and Apple aren’t strapped for cash. Neither is Netflix, really, though the heretofore queen of streaming has since seen a 2% drop in its shares following the reveal of its newest competitors.

That isn’t to say that the coming of Disney+ and Apple TV are anything new to Netflix. Before them, there were Hulu and Amazon Prime. And next year, there will be HBO Max.

Netflix has seen its fair share of streaming service competitors, but still remains one of the strongest and most subscribed to weapon of choice for date nights. Its 158 million subscribers worldwide are a testament to that.

Disney+ already has over two million under its belt despite being only days old, and it will probably earn a few hundred million more soon. That being said, I would say it looks like Netflix and chill is here to stay for now.

The bottom line is this: You don’t have to pick sides. This isn’t a war. Not everything has to be an Apple vs Android fight.

Imagine these services as a table full of cakes laid out before you.

Instead of one cake, you now have three.

And we all know that more cake has never been a bad decision.

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