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Who Will Win? Netflix, Hulu, or Disney Plus

With so many different online subscription platforms making an appearance in the last 10 years, especially with successful newcomer Disney+, a streaming war has fallen upon us. Streaming services have been available since 2007, when movie rental companies began to become obsolete. The first subscription company to make an appearance was Netflix.

This was just the beginning, as competitors soon followed including Hulu which began streaming many award-winning shows including The Handmaid Tales and The X-Files. Another subscription service that made an appearance was Amazon Prime Video with its Emmy award winning show The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and action show Jack Ryan. Lastly, HBO GO came into the picture with its live streaming of television programs and documentaries that were being broadcasted on the channel. 

Although some of the services were not much of a war but more like a battle, they were still seen as competition. Other mini streaming services which include CrunchyRoll and VRV focusing on anime and cartoon content became increasingly popular among those who were focused on a niche market. Series such as Bravest Warriors and My Hero Academia were able to be seen at the click of a button. Next, with the rise of K pop, streaming services such as KOCOWA with Korean drama were also in the competitor category. 

Although many different streaming services were suddenly appearing, Netflix has remained on top. It was not until 2019, when Disney and Apple made their appearance that the competition truly started. After these two companies joined the subscription world, the streaming wars began. Apple TV started by hitting strong against its competitors with A-list celebrities starring in shows. The subscription allowed its viewers and subscribers to see actresses such as Hailee Steinfeld in Emily Dickinson.

Disney was also seen as a contender with its nostalgia and exclusive spin-off shows like The Mandalorian, bringing us the character fans love to call Baby Yoda. In addition, there are also other streaming services such as YouTube Red where subscribers can watch their favorite YouTube streamers and stars with their own shows. Changes were now being seen on the original subscription services these include: the original HBO streaming service evolved into HBO Max, the removal of Friends from Netflix, and even the addition of Peacock which will be removing The Office, Parks and Recreation, and other NBC Universal movies and shows from where they were originally seen. There is even another streaming service called Quibi which is a similar version of You Tube that offers streaming services with daily episodes instead of seasons or weekly/monthly episodes. 

With all these shows being removed from Netflix, the true question is will it survive the subscription war? 

After polling students about streaming services, the most frequent responses are Netflix, Hulu, and Disney +, there were also outlier responses when they were asked about Starz and Amazon Prime Video. It’s safe to say the clear winner at Ferguson was Netflix as the preferred streaming platform.

 Most importantly, as consumers, we must understand that media streaming services are spending millions on creating content so customers can pick their service over the others. It is clear that Disney and Apple have both survived due to their incredible marketing strategies and how well known they are amongst the public, but it is not clear that this will occur with other streaming services. Each subscription service has their fair share of positive and negatives and the deciding factor for many will probably be which subscription offers them their favorite show, actor, or price.

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