Photo: YinYang (Getty Images)
Earlier this week, Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed the full details on Disney+, the company’s new streaming service. Launching in late 2019 (which matches up with the end of Disney’s current Netflix contracts), the service will feature exclusive content from across the “House of Mouse.”
Star Wars fans will be able to take in The Mandalorian, Jon Favreau’s show exploring Boba Fett’s home planet. They’ll also get to see a Rogue One prequel series staring Cassian Andor, which the internet assures us was a character in that film. On the Marvel side, breakout character Loki will be getting his own show with Tom Hiddleston returning to the role.
On the surface, it sounds all fine and dandy. When you examine it just a little bit, though, the wheels fall off. It all starts with the name.
– so it’ll be impossible to search for online
– pronounced differently in most languages
– go on
– and it can never be a domain name
– perfect! https://t.co/EQT09QUh6g
— amos 🍃 (@fasterthanlime) November 9, 2018
Disney+ is simply an awful name. Even spelling it out to Disney Plus would be better, as that name is at least pronounceable. Disney+ will just lead to conversations including “the Disney streaming service,” and that’s much less catchy than “Netflix” or “WWE Network.”
Beyond branding, will Disney EX Plus Alpha have the exclusive content to compete with other players in the streaming biz? Look back at their big announcements from last week. How many people actually remember who Cassian Andor is? Rogue One wasn’t a Solo-level disaster, but it’s also not exactly a fond memory for the average moviegoer. Loki is better of course, but Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. shows that transplanting a popular character in the Marvel films onto TV doesn’t mean instant success.
It’s all the more curious why Disney just didn’t go all in on Hulu, the service they acquired a majority stake in with their purchase of 20th Century Fox. Hulu has an existing audience and a base to work off of, and it could have served as a springboard once loaded with Mickey’s lucrative franchises. While Bob Iger stated that there would be more investment in original Hulu content, we can’t see Disney sticking around with a second service long term.
As of now, we’ll just have to wait until next year’s debut. Will Disney+ bring Marvel shows like Daredevil and Jessica Jones into the fold? How far will the archives go back? Will we be able to watch The Black Cauldron on this service? How about Brandi’s 1997 turn as Cinderella? There are more questions than answers, but we better all get used to hearing “that Disney streaming thing” by Thanksgiving next year.