Despite Disney+ debut, students stick with Netflix

More than 80% pick older service, citing diversity of shows and more mature content.

The Branham Disney Club’s Instagram story on Monday displayed a timer counting down to midnight for the release of Disney+, the company’s answer to Netflix, the video streaming giant.

For Disney Club president Max Blanchard, it’s a time of celebration. The sophomore said that Disney’s entrance into an increasingly crowded market is a positive thing for the media industry, as users can now access nearly every movie and TV show the company has made, as well as from those it owns, including Marvel, Pixar, National Geographic and LucasFilm.

“I’m excited for all of the content that will keep me busy,” he said, “especially series like ‘High School Musical’, and also Disney movies such as ‘The Little Mermaid.’”

Like the opening of Disneyland in 1955, there were the usual glitches with debut of Disney+ such as delayed loading times. Still, it’s estimated 30.2 million U.S. households will subscribe to the service by the end of next year, half of Netflix’s audience, according to Ampere Analysis. 

Despite the abundant attention that Disney+ has been receiving, enthusiasm at Branham is low. In a recent snap poll of 251 students, only 19% said they would switch to the service, while 81% voted to remain with Netflix.

Some respondents backing Netflix mentioned the diversity of shows on the still-popular streaming service, an estimated 20% of are Disney-owned. They said that they wanted entertainment beyond Disney.

Senior Katie Wilson said that Disney’s increasing need to capitalize on its brands is a worrisome trend, citing the service and the recent live-action remakes. She prefers Netflix.

“It sickens me that a family friendly company has turned into a corporation that rushes any and all products just to make money quicker.”

Given the option for one service, many will stick to Netflix. But chances are there’s room for a few more to subscribe to. According to the Ampere Analysis survey, the average family  subscribes to 2.6 streaming services. With nearly 15 services making their debut this year from AppleTV, HBO Max, CBS, NBC, Amazon to name a few, Disney+ has its competition cut out for them. Wilson from the Film Club isn’t budging yet.

“I’m sticking with Netflix,” she said. “I know a lot of people will say, ‘I’m not gonna do the Disney thing,’ but you know pretty well that you’re gonna do the Disney thing.”

The countdown from the Disney Club’s Instagram story.