Disney Destroys Netflix, Streaming Service Future Still in Doubt

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Bob Iger in front of screens loading the Disney+ and Netflix streaming services

Credit: Thibault Penin (left and right) and Angela George via Wikimedia (front)

Things aren’t looking great for Disney+ right now – but at least it’s not Netflix.

The journey of Disney’s first streaming service hasn’t exactly been smooth. Upon its initial launch in 2019, Disney+ was met with overwhelming demand, beating out other services like HBO Max (now Max) in its first 24 hours.

Disney+ logo with Iron Man, Darth Vader, Elastigirl, Moana
Credit: Disney

Related: Marvel Ditches Disney Plus, Attempts To Find New Audience for Struggling Projects

Four years later and it’s a different story. In 2020, Disney predicted that Disney+ would boast between 230 million and 260 million subscribers by September 2024. However, the number of users ditching Disney+ has increased in recent months, putting The Walt Disney Company significantly short of its goal.

With shareholders growing concerned, Disney CEO Bob Chapek was removed from the company in November and replaced by his predecessor, Bob Iger. Since then, Disney has introduced numerous measures to try and save its ailing streaming service, such as purging dozens of titles from the platform, hiking prices, and adding a new ad-supported subscription tier.

Bob Iger with Disney+ in the background
Credit: Inside the Magic

Other steps include plans to merge Disney+ with Hulu – in which Disney currently holds a two-third stake and aims to purchase the other third from Comcast – by the end of 2023.

According to recent data from WhipMedia, Disney has good reason to be worried. Subscribers are reportedly growing less satisfied with the original content offered by their Disney+ subscription, with the platform dropping from an 84% satisfaction rate in 2022 to 77% in 2023.

Viewers are even less impressed with the variety of TV shows and films available – a complaint that’s plagued Disney+ since its launch in 2019. While 78% of subscribers were happy in 2022, this number fell to 71% in 2023. This is the biggest drop recorded by any other streaming service included in the data.

A hand holding a phone with the Disney+ app open
Credit: Mika Baumeister via Unsplash

Despite these less-than-impressive numbers, however, Disney can be proud of one thing: its numbers are stronger than Netflix.

When it comes to “Overall Satisfaction Rate,” Disney+ is third after Max and Hulu. An estimated 85% of Disney+ subscribers are happy with the streaming platform, putting it in a close second to Max’s 88% and Hulu’s 87% satisfaction rate. Disney dropped just 3% in terms of overall satisfaction this year. In comparison, Max dropped by 6%.

Meanwhile, Netflix trails behind in third place at just 77% behind Apple TV+ and Paramount+.

In the grand scheme of things, these numbers mean very little if those unhappy with the service continue to ditch the platform. Worth noting is that despite its low satisfaction rate, more survey participants chose a Netflix subscription as their preference if forced to keep just one service. Needless to say, users do not have the same loyalty to Disney+.

Disney+ and Netflix logos side by side
Credit: Inside the Magic

Related: Disney+ Set to Limit Password Sharing, Effective This Year

If it’s customer loyalty Disney’s after, their latest move isn’t the way to improve the situation. Disney+ recently started cracking down on password sharing. Subscribers in Canada recently received emails warning them that, from November 1, sharing an account with someone outside their household may result in a limited or terminated subscription.

With similar warnings on the way to users worldwide, the internet has been flooded with viewers threatening to cancel their Disney+ subscription. However, it’s worth noting that despite Netflix subscribers making similar threats, subscriptions actually surged when the platform introduced its own password-sharing crackdown earlier this year. Time will only tell whether the tactic works as well for Disney+.

Are you a Disney+ subscriber? Let us know your thoughts on the streaming service in the comments!

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