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The next battle of the streaming wars began on Nov. 12, when Disney launched its long-awaited competitor to Netflix, Disney Plus. Armed with the entire Disney-Pixar catalog, along with Star Wars and Marvel content, Disney is attempting to leverage its way into the market Netflix created nearly a decade ago after pivoting from movies in the mail. Can Mickey Mouse strong-arm yet another media goldmine?
In only one day, Disney Plus enjoyed 10 million subscribers, so it’s an instant success. Of course, Netflix boasts 151 million subscribers worldwide, even if its recent growth projections haven’t been what the company expected. As a consumer, should you pay for both? How do they compare? Here’s everything you need to know if you’re considering a subscription to Disney Plus.
7 day free trial
(with Hulu and ESPN+)
Both services are available on nearly all of the most popular consoles, from Xbox One and Playstation 4 to Chromecast, Roku, and Apple TV. But Disney has the edge in amount of devices you can watch on, as Disney Plus allows you to watch on up to four devices in its sole package. Netflix has three different subscription levels, and you can watch on one, two, and four devices depending on which package you choose.
Disney Plus also has an advantage in streaming quality as all of its content is in 4K HDR. Netflix again has three different options, one in non-HD, one in HD, and the highest tier is streamed in 4K HDR. While Netflix does give you more price flexibility and the option to choose what you prioritize, even its lowest option is more expensive than Disney Plus.
Disney has all of its shows and movies in the highest quality, and you can access it almost everywhere.
Netflix certainly has a bigger quantity of shows. But Disney Plus is dialed in with an overwhelming back-catalog and glossy new series in the works.
What’s on Netflix?
Netflix is the granddaddy of streaming, and its original library is dynamic and impressive, with about 5,000 movies alone.
Need more ideas? Here are our Netflix guides for the best war movies, documentaries, anime, indie flicks, true crime, food shows, gangster movies, Westerns, and movies based on true stories streaming right now. There are also sad movies guaranteed to make you cry, weird movies to melt your brain, and standup specials when you really need to laugh. Or check out Flixable, a search engine for Netflix.
There are even plenty of Disney movies on Netflix.
In addition to the legacy content–500 movies and 7,500 episodes across all sorts of beloved material from your childhood–Disney+ launched with a suite of original series. The clear-cut headliner is The Mandolorian, a glossy, top-shelf Star Wars serial that’s already sparking controversy with its first big shocker and spoiler. Other highlights from the first wave of Disney+ content include:
- Anna Kendrick and Bill Hader’s holiday comedy Noelle.
- The World According to Jeff Goldblum, a Jeff Goldblum-hosted explainer and travelogue series where he tackles points of interest like sneakers and ice cream.
- A live-action Lady and the Tramp movie made with rescue dogs.
- The Imagineering Story, a warm and fuzzy docuseries about Walt Disney. Yes, it’s company propaganda but it’s downright earnest.
- Encore! which the Daily Dot called a “love letter to high school theater” in its review.
- And speaking of high school, the well-liked High School Musical reboot debuted on Disney+ as well. We’re also all about it.
For an exhaustive list, here are all of the Disney+ titles you can stream effective Week 1.
Disney Plus has one subscription level at $6.99 per month, with the same streaming quality and number of devices as Netflix’s most expensive level.
Netflix has packages at $8.99 per month, $12.99, and $15.99, depending on the variables above. To get the same quality on Netflix would be more than double the price of Disney Plus, so Netflix’s most popular option at $12.99 per month may be a better deal. With that, you get HD streaming, although not 4K HDR as Disney has, and you can stream on up to two devices.
The best option would be to get both services, as Disney Plus and Netflix’s second-tier package would give you access to thousands of shows and quality movies for around $20 a month. Especially if you are weighing a household’s entertainment options: For now Disney Plus doesn’t offer anything that isn’t family-friendly (and R-rated) and that may prove limiting for parents.
- Everything you need to know about Disney+
- How does Disney+ compare to Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and Apple TV+?
- Here are all of the Disney+ titles available to stream at launch
- Every Marvel Cinematic Universe movie and show missing from Disney+ (and when they’ll show up)
- The best movies and TV shows streaming on Disney+
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Jackson Fowler is the Daily Dot's resident football expert. Both kinds. He's a former editorial intern with the newsroom. You can follow him on Twitter at @jacksnfwler.