Just when you finally thought you had TV streaming figured out (and you got all 4 of your remotes to work), Disney and Apple are about to shake up the entire industry again.
The two giants are rolling out streaming services this month. Apple TV Plus launched on Nov. 1, and Disney Plus will live on Nov. 12. With Sony ending its streaming service, Playstation Vue, in January, many viewers will be rethinking their streaming options.
Molli Bunch has a preschool-age daughter, and she and her husband are seriously thinking of making the switch to Disney.
"I thought that was amazing, that was awesome, because it is so hard to find some of the Disney movies," Bunch said. "The kids asked to watch WALL-E the other day, and it was like one of the hardest movies to find for them to stream to watch."
That's why reviewers such as CNET expect Disney Plus to be an instant hit with families.
What Disney Plus will offer
CNET says Disney's new service will have almost the entire Disney library of movies, including Pixar and Marvel movies, and the complete Star Wars movie saga, with 300 movie titles available at launch.
According to a report in CheatSheet.com, many Disney Channel shows will also be included, but not the live Disney Channel. Other Disney-owned series, such as The Simpsons will also be available to stream.
As a parent, Bunch says, having all the Disney content available in one place "is going to be great."
David Mathews, a parent of three young children, says he will also consider the Disney service at his home.
"A lot of the content we watch is Disney," Mathews said. "We are big Disney fans, we've been to Disney a couple of times, I think the 3 of them will watch a lot of Disney shows."
Neither Bunch nor Mathews have heard much about Apple's new streaming service, though. Apple has kept much of its plans for Apple TV Plus under wraps, outside of announcements for a few big shows.
Disney Plus will cost $6.99 a month, or $69 a year, half the price of Netflix or HBO Plus for most customers. Customers can also add ESPN+ and Hulu to make it a well0rounded streaming service for $14 a month
Apple TV Plus will cost even less, just $4.99 a month. And it will actually be free for a year with the purchase of a new iPhone, iPad or Apple TV unit.
What Apple Plus will offer
But there's a reason Apple TV Plus will be so cheap: It launched Friday with only nine titles, according to reports.
Apple's most high profile show is "Morning Show," a series about a morning TV show starring Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston and Steve Carell — big stars that alone may make the service worthwhile for many people.
At the start, CNET says, Apple TV Plus will be just "a blip" compared to most streaming services, and really can't be considered a standalone service such as Hulu or Netlfix, with their thousands of titles.
According to The Verge, "Apple TV is trying to be HBO, not Netflix." And with so few titles, many reviewers say Apple Plus will probably appeal mostly to iPhone and iPad buyers who get it free.
They also wonder how many customers will renew the second year, when they will have to pay a monthly fee.
How many streaming services are too many?
The big question many analysts have right now is whether families have too many streaming services and whether Disney and Apple are getting into the game a little late.
Most now subscribe to Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime and perhaps Hulu Live, which all have a monthly fee (unless you purchase them as part of a streaming bundle).
Mathews said if he subscribes to Disney Plus, it is likely that he will drop another streaming service to keep costs down.
"It will probably be that we evaluate what we use. Sometimes you look back at the apps and say we haven't used this in a couple of months, and it is time to cancel that," he said.
Most independent reviewers are giving the edge, at least at the start, to Disney Plus, since it will have thousands of more titles than Apple TV Plus.
"Despite Disney's higher fee, it will be a much more compelling service than Apple TV Plus," tech site Digital Trends said,
Mathews and Bunch just know that their young children will be excited by any channel that offers hundreds of Disney movies, anytime, at the touch of a remote.
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