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Disney+: The happiest streaming place on Earth

After acquiring 21st Century Fox in March 2019, Disney officially launched Disney+ on the 12th November in the US, Canada and The Netherlands. The launch was a big success, with Disney+ registering more than 10 million users worldwide. In The Netherlands alone they gained between 500,000 and 600,000 users for the streaming service.

Disney+ is designed to be the exclusive home of streaming theatrical blockbusters from Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar and Disney Studios, such as Iron Man, Captain America, Frozen, Toy Story, High School Musical and all the movies in the Star Wars saga.

Disney+ costs €7-a-month in The Netherlands, or €70 (about €5.83 a month) if you prepay for a full year. The monthly rate is half the price of HBO Now (partnered with Dutch cable platform, Ziggo) and it is also less than Netflix’s cheapest tier at €8 a month. However, Disney+ includes perks that Netflix charges extra for – such as four simultaneous streams, 4K Ultra HD in Dolby Vision, HDR10 and Dolby Atmos immersive audio. That makes Disney’s €7-a-month subscription comparable to Netflix’s €14-a-month tier. Looking at the Dutch video-on-demand (VOD) platforms, such as Videoland at €8 a month, Disney+ is still more efficient.

So, is Disney+ worth paying for? If you love Star Wars or Marvel movies, or if you have kids, you may find yourself considering yet another subscription service.

After the American, Canadian and Dutch launch, Disney+ arrived in Australia New Zealand this week and on the 31st March 2020, it will be launching across Western Europe, including the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Disney+ in The Netherlands
On the 12th September, the 17 million residents of the Netherlands became the first people in the world to see Disney’s high-profile streaming offering Disney+ for free, before its launch on 12th November. But why The Netherlands?

The Netherlands is a small and densely populated country with around 7.5 million households in the whole country, therefore it doesn’t matter how popular Disney+ is, Disney’s servers won’t get overloaded because of the high-quality technical infrastructure in this country. Broadband internet penetration in The Netherlands is 98%, compared to 82% in the US, which means that virtually everyone in the country can access and use the Disney+ trial, thus the small, diverse, tech-savvy country offers an ideal environment to beta test the high-profile streaming platform.

All Response Media viewpoint
It is yet another streaming platform to subscribe to. A platform where you can watch unlimited series and movies wherever and whenever you want, without advertising in between.

Dutch consumers are already complaining that they have to pay a monthly amount per platform, while they are only interested in one particular series. Based on the sales figures of the VOD market, 75% is in the hands of the global players such as Amazon Prime and Netflix.

The Dutch VOD platform Videoland is now finally able to breakeven but has decided to invest further and broadcast Dutch TV series. For Dutch consumers, one VOD platform would offer a solution, without the need for three different subscriptions to get access to a series; but everything available on one platform.

Also, Videoland is in the process of introducing a free version with ads, such as the free Spotify option. If other platforms start following the same path, this will give consumers the possibility of only choosing one or two VOD platforms and watch the others for free, with advertisements.

Looking at traditional TV viewing in the Netherlands, there are still more people with a TV subscription compared to a Netflix subscription and the average TV viewing time of 178 minutes per day is also much higher than the 84 minutes that Dutch people spend on Netflix each day.

According to Stichting Kijkonderzoek – who are responsible for TV viewing research and reporting viewing figures – 91.4% of the Dutch population watch traditional TV every week, proving that traditional TV viewing in the Netherlands will not disappear in the coming years.

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