With its release, Disney+ is poised for a battle over streaming supremacy with Netflix
Written by
Michael Kraft
Streaming services by the numbers
Image By
Michael Kraft

Amazon Prime and Hulu have both tried and failed to replace Netflix as the No. 1 streaming service. With the arrival of Disney+ students and faculty wonder if it will be Disney who knocks Netflix off its throne.

“Disney finds ways to win, they have brilliant production … I fully expect Disney+ to surpass Netflix,” predicted Dr. Brent Yergensen, an associate professor at BYUH. “How do you compete with ‘Tangled?’ How do you compete with ‘Up?’ How do you compete with ‘Frozen?’ You just can’t tell better stories than that.”


The Big Four of streaming

According to Forbes, Netflix is the largest streaming service in the United States, and worldwide behind Netflix is Amazon Prime, with Hulu in third place. Disney said their new streaming service Disney+ has already picked up 10 million subscribers, as they attempt to loosen Netflix’s grip on the streaming market.

London Little, a sophomore from California majoring in social work, said of the four main streaming services, Netflix takes the top spot because of the variety of content offered. “You have more options, horror, comedy, action, and it’s not all just PG things that are for kids, you have stuff for an older [audience] as well.”

Amazon Prime is the streaming service of choice for Peyton Astle, a sophomore from Idaho majoring in business management. Amazon Prime provides a discount for students, where they can sign up for Amazon Prime for $59 yearly with a six-month free trial.

Although Astle said he gets the best value with Amazon Prime, he said he has considered making the switch to Disney+. He said the content and pricing are the two biggest things Disney+ has going for them. Although the service has an extensive library and is less expensive than Netflix, Astle said he does not think Disney+ can surpass Netflix and take the top spot in the market.

Hannah Leiataua, a sophomore from Utah majoring in social work, said her family uses Hulu in place of a more traditional cable TV provider. She said the best thing about Hulu is the live TV aspect of it. Leiataua’s family is a Hulu Live subscriber, which has the entire on demand Hulu library, in addition to live television.

Leiataua also uses Netflix, and Disney+ in addition to Hulu. Leiataua said although she has all three services, she uses Netflix the most. “I like Netflix because you can binge watch shows without commercials.”

Although vast, Leiataua said the biggest flaw with Disney+ is its content. “It’s all little kid stuff, and it’s not anything I haven’t seen before.” Leitataua said she believes Disney+ will be better when they add new content, but for now she’s sticking with Hulu and Netflix.


The losing to streaming

Although he predicted Disney+ to overtake Netflix, Dr. Yergensen said the real loser will not be Netflix. He said the loser will be traditional television. People no longer have to wait until their favorite show is on TV anymore, they can just sit down at any time and watch as much as they want, said Yergensen.

Little said streaming is better than traditional television because “it’s on demand, you pick what you want when you want it, you can type in what you want when you want it and it’s there.”

Dr. Yergensen compared binging shows to reading a book all at once, “It used to take 9 months to watch an entire season of a show … now you can do it in a couple of days.”

The biggest obstacle keeping traditional television around is live sports said Dr. Yergensen. Although he did note sports like football and basketball are finding their way to mobile streaming services.

When Astle learned Disney+ offers a package for $12.99 which includes ESPN and Hulu, he said, “Now [I] actually, think Disney+ would have an advantage, I think Disney+ will take the lead over Netflix.”


Cost breakdown

For the basic subscription plan, Hulu will cost costumers $5.99 a month. Disney+ will cost $6.99 monthly for their basic plan. Netflix comes in next at $9 a month for their basic plan. Amazon Prime has the most expensive basic plan at $12.99, however for students it comes in at $6.49 a month.

Date Published
November 27, 2019
Last Edited
November 27, 2019