Until now, it was common for streaming services not to compete directly, at least on release dates. But now the two big series start on the same day. What does this mean for Netflix and Disney + providers – and of course for users?
Netflix and Disney +, two streaming giants. After Netflix has long been considered the undisputed leader, the provider is slowly but surely getting closer to the competition. First of all: Disney +. Now these two services are going head to head in the form of two series: Stranger Things and Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Netflix and Disney + have long been in competition with each other
The streaming provider Netflix has been around since the late 1990s, back then as an online video store to rent DVDs. The streaming service did not develop towards video-on-demand until the mid-20th century. This made Netflix a pioneer and pioneer for many other providers as the success was huge in the beginning. Netflix owes its many years of domination primarily to its pioneering spirit. Especially in the last four to five years, the streaming boom has grown enormously. Multiple vendors are pressing, including Disney +.
The Mickey Mouse group’s streaming service is relatively young. The platform was launched at the end of 2019 – or in Germany in March 2020. Corona was certainly the determining factor for Disney +’s fantastic start. In addition, from the very beginning, a few well-known own productions have appeared, such as “The Mandalorian”. Disney + was quickly announced as Netflix’s main competitor. Not only because of the rapidly growing number of subscribers – their age played an important role. Netflix and Disney + are striving for an important target audience, especially teenagers and young adults.
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Stranger Things vs. Obi-Wan Kenobi
Even if theoretically all streaming services are in direct competition with each other, it is customary not to put two productions directly against each other. With the two hit series “Stranger Things” from Netflix and “Obi-Wan Kenobi” from Disney +, that is changing now. Both start on the same day. “Stranger Things” is of great importance to Netflix, as it is still considered one of the site’s most successful in-house productions. After all, not many Netflix series go to season 4, for which we had to wait a long time in this case, also due to Corona.
On the other hand, Obi-Wan Kenobi is a brand new series that is coming to Disney +. The company has the advantage of having several major brands; Star Wars is just one of them. Since the announcement that there will be a series about the famous Jedi Master, expectation has been high. Even Ewan McGregor, who played Obi-Wan in the prequel movies, returns to the role.
Is Disney + deliberately setting its series against Netflix?
The fact that Disney + in particular set the start of “Obi-Wan Kenobi” on the same day as “Stranger Things” is considered certain. It is also striking that the release date was brought forward in a short time. In fact, the first two episodes should be online as usual at 9am CET. But the release happened this morning at 6am (CET).
One explanation is that actors Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen, who also reprints his role as Anakin Skywalker, presented the series during the Star Wars celebrations in California. Disney may want to avoid some spoilers by releasing them sooner. More likely, however, is that the streaming service wants to give its series a minimal start.
Netflix and Disney + are two different concepts
In terms of content, the series are very different, but they are addressed to a very similar target group. The publishing concepts of Netflix and Disney +, however, differ significantly. Netflix shares the series with the fourth season of Stranger Things for the first time; the first part with seven episodes will start on May 27. However, the season finale with two episodes will not be released until July 1.
Disney +, on the other hand, remains true to its previous tactic of spending every week. Only at the start two episodes appear in the network. So Disney + has the added advantage that “Obi-Wan Kenobi” will most likely stay in the conversation for longer.
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The new competition may affect the streaming market
Things aren’t going so well lately on Netflix. For the first time, the website noticed declining subscriber numbers. As a remedy, Netflix plans, inter alia, to tougher action against account sharing, which would likely hit the younger target audience in particular. Other measures such as live TV are also discussed. Above all, the provider wants to focus even more on their own high-quality content in the future. Stranger Things is an important piece of the puzzle in this respect.
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The fact that Disney + is so openly competing with Netflix could lead to a further tightening of the streaming market in the near future. The next summer hits will face each other: the prequel “Game of Thrones” “House of the Dragon” and the series “Lord of the Rings” from Amazon Prime Video. On the one hand, for subscribers, this is likely to mean a lot of content at very short intervals in the future. On the other hand, it can show sooner than expected which streaming services can even keep up in this arms race.