Amid the flurry of Disney+ announcements made Friday at D23, a none-to-small detail emerged about the new streaming service: Sources confirm for TVLine that Disney+ episodes will be released on a weekly basis, versus the all-at-once “binge” model often employed by rivals.
Is this a welcome respite for those who have felt a need to “stress-binge” full seasons ASAP upon release (lest they, for one reason, get spoiled by those who watch faster)? Or is it, as some see it, a “cash grab” by the House of Mouse? A way to force month-to-month subscriptions and foil those scheming to sign up, binge, and bail?
Is giving each episode time to “breathe” a way to foster better conversation and real-time evaluation of a series as it evolves? Or does returning to a weekly schedule run contrary to how consumers have grown accustomed to enjoying their TV?
Review the facts, then weigh in:
Launching Tuesday, Nov. 12 Stateside and rolling out globally over the next two years, a Disney+ subscription will run just $ 6.99 per month (or $ 69.99 for an annual pass; pricing varies outside the U.S.). The content will be ad-free.
Disney+ will offer unlimited downloads of shows (and movies) via its app, to watch offline later on up to 10 mobile or tablet devices. The service will allow subscribers to concurrently stream video content on up to four registered devices, with no up-charges.
Quality-wise, Disney+ will offer “4K Ultra HD video playback in Dolby Vision ultra-vivid imaging, HDR10, and Dolby Atmos immersive audio on supported devices for available programming.” (I don’t remember which droid HDR10 is, but I reckon he’s a hoot!)
Upon launch, the live-action Star Wars series The Mandalorian as well as High School Musical: The Musical: The Series: Too Many Colons will make their premieres, to be followed by the animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars (in February 2020), Marvel’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (Fall 2020) and Pixar’s Monsters at Work and Diary of a Female President (sometime in 2020). At least another 11 series — including seven more Marvel projects, an Obi-Wan Kenobi series, a Lizzie McGuire revival and a Muppets show — have been announced, with premiere dates TBA or set for sometime in 2021.
The TV series are, of course, on top of all the library and original film content, new Pixar shorts (such as Forky Asks a Question), and a vast library of TV episodes (including every Simpsons episode ever, as well as Disney Channel, DCOM and NatGeo content).
Where do you stand on Disney+’s idea to “bring back” the weekly release model? If it’s, cynically, a “cash grab,” can they be forgiven given the low-to-begin with price point? Especially if warding off binge-and-bails is what makes that sweet price feasible for them?
Personally, I am glad to see one of the new streaming services “change things up” and go weekly. Too often with binge shows, the opportunity for extended discourse is diminished. The conversation around any given show quite famously and demonstrably ends within weeks of the initial drop. And whatever discussion you do find runs the risk of spoiling anyone who isn’t quite on the same page. “Hey, Vern, have you seen GLOW Season 3?” “Sure did, Chantal! Crazy about how in the finale–” “Shhh! I’m only on Episode 7, you wanker!”
Doesn’t a live-action Star Wars series deserve to be savored, and not frantically speed-watched out of fear that someone will spoil that Jabba is revealed to be a Kree in the season finale?
But where do you stand on the Disney+ plan?