Disney + is one of the youngest entrants in the highly competitive streaming market. Behind it is the Walt Disney Company and with it a lot of money and blockbuster content. TECHNOLOGY BUTTON author techOr is now really mad at the otherwise so beloved Mickey Mouse company because of one of these films, or more precisely because of the way they deal with subscribers.
First of all: I am both a big Disney fan and a passionate user of various streaming subscriptions. Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Joyn, Magenta TV – I like to stream and a lot, when time allows. When Disney + launched in Germany in March 2020, I was euphoric to say the least. The cartoon series shaped my childhood. For years I went to Mardi Gras in a Peter Pan costume, my favorite films were “Robin Hood” (1973), “The Witch and the Wizard” (1963) and “Mulan” (1998). Disney has reissued the latter as a live action film this year. Instead of in the cinema, “Mulan” started because of the corona pandemic at Disney +. I think the pricing strategy that Disney is pursuing is pretty bold.
That’s how “Mulan” landed on Disney +
The remake with Liu Yifei in the title role of Mulan should actually be in theaters at the end of 2018. For various reasons, it finally became March 27, 2020. At this time, however, the cinemas worldwide closed due to Corona. Because of this, Disney postponed the start date several times, until it was finally clear that the blockbuster would not even run in the movie theaters. Instead, “Mulan” started on September 4th directly on the in-house streaming service Disney +. Disney was not alone in taking this step; other well-known new releases such as “Trolls World Tour” and “Bombshell” were also shown directly on a streaming provider instead of in the cinema . The catch with “Mulan”: Despite the subscription, the film costs 21.99 euros, in the USA 29.99 dollars.
From October 6th, just a good month later, interested parties could also rent the film from Amazon and Google for the same price – minus the subscription fees for Disney + and thus for less money overall. A month is a pretty short period of time for an exclusive window. It has now been announced that the surcharge will be completely eliminated from December 6th.
Why does this make me so angry?
The cost of producing the film was enormous at $ 200 million. Of course, the Walt Disney Company has an interest in reintroducing them and making a good profit if possible. But that shouldn’t happen at the expense of Disney + customers, who are already paying. The fact that an additional fee has to be paid in order to be able to see content earlier than others is absolutely fine and is not only handled this way at Disney +. But paying 22 euros for a single film is very steep. I would have gotten away cheaper in the cinema with an accompanying person. And the exclusive window, in which “Mulan” was then only seen on Disney +, was also too short in my opinion.
Disney +, please treat your customers better!
Now it is understandable in and of itself that Disney wants to make good profits with its film. To me, however, it just seems as if Disney wants to squeeze the last bit out of the blockbuster and that’s not good for the film itself or for Disney +. Some might think that this is a very high level of complaint, but seriously: The competition on the streaming market is huge. That’s why I have the specific comparison between some providers and Disney + is still clearly behind.
With the Marvel and Star Wars universes, there are two major franchises and, last but not least, the popular cartoons. Nevertheless, I get a lot more for my money with Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, for example – and now I should pay a lot more for bigger films on Disney +? Only to find out that I could only have waited three months to get around that ?! How must it be for the people who have bought a subscription AND VIP access especially for the film.
What’s next at Disney +?
According to the CEO, it should be a one-time action. From a purely financial point of view, however, the strategy for Disney should have been worthwhile, as the numbers and reactions at the start prove alone . For streaming customers, it is to be hoped that the example does not follow suit. As long as the cinemas are struggling with few visitors, the system itself is not bad – but please not at these prices and a little more exclusive!