Trimming back expenses in light of? There’s a good chance your entertainment budget is taking a hit you’re asking yourself if you really need every out there. Whether you’ve been a longtime Netflix subscriber, have for your kids, or break up and make up with , you found a groove with the platforms you use. But at this point, something may have to go.
Netflix surprised us with a price hike, and some people consideredfor good. Amid show cancellations and , big changes are afoot. Disney Plus provides high-quality content that’s on par with Netflix, and its low cost makes it a top contender. Each service is working on introducing a lower price plan in the coming months — or year. But in this moment, how do these two streaming giants compare in content and value?
Both services have launched pop culture juggernauts, as seen withand Stranger Things. During 2021, Disney Plus and Netflix had the most popular streaming content of the year, according to Nielsen. Both carry family-friendly gems, superhero stories, documentaries and feature films with A-list talent. And both are commercial-free zones.
Disney Plus and Netflix are part of most people’s households as go-to streaming platforms. If you’re someone who’s weighing costs against which one to ditch, here’s guidance on how to choose.
Netflix can be credited with kicking off the streaming wars back in 2007. Since then, the streaming pioneer has increased its subscription prices, but Netflix continues to lean into originals while providing a range of licensed TV shows and movies. Its interface makes it easy to sift through content based on genre, popularity or age.
Read our Netflix review.
Disney Plus rises to the top with its family-friendly stable of movies and shows. The platform continues to grow, with over 137 million subscribers as of May. At $8 a month, it’s a bargain for anyone who loves all things Disney, Marvel, Pixar and National Geographic. Viewers can find entertaining and educational content that spans nearly ten decades.
Read our Disney Plus review.
How do these services compare in pricing?
Disney Plus and Netflix differ greatly in costs
Disney Plus wins the streaming wars price competition. Its straightforward $8 per month plan includes 4K streaming, IMAX capabilities, and four simultaneous streams and has Netflix beat. There aren’t multiple price tiers, but Hulu and ESPN Plus can be tacked on to your Disney Plus subscription as part of the Disney Bundle. Sign up for the package and get all three services for $14 a month.
In contrast, Netflix is now at the top of the food chain when it comes to cost. Though there are still no ads on the platform, the fees for all three plans have risen. The $10 basic version nets you one stream at a time and only one device for downloads. Its most popular premium option now sits at $15.50 per month with two simultaneous screens or devices and HD. Like Disney Plus, Netflix offers four simultaneous streams and 4K, but you need the $20 premium plan for that.
Let’s talk about originals
Netflix and Disney Plus have megahits in their lineups but…
Brass tacks? Disney Plus taps into legacy properties and existing franchises without really lighting a match on anything that’s totally new. This approach works against Disney when viewers must wait for the streamer to drop something fresh. While shows like Loki and The Mandalorian have been high-quality successes, they’re connected to larger cinematic universes. And unlike Netflix, there aren’t many original movies dropping on the platform.
While there is a batch of originals in the works that includes a new prom movie, reality shows from Marvel stars, and plenty of live-action book adaptations, the timetable for projects is long. Most future releases in the Disney Plus pipeline revolve around old commodities, including spin-offs from Moana and Star Wars. Fans get excited for exclusive Disney Plus content, but these releases aren’t added on a regular basis.
However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t find anything good to stream from Marvel, NatGeo or any other brand in the Disney family. It’s the only place you can watch Obi-Wan Kenobi, Charm, Turning Red and Moon Knight. And Disney Plus gets credit for its organized Originals tab layout, which divides everything into five categories.
On the other hand, Netflix’s originals ain’t nothing to scoff at. Aside from the now-legendary Stranger Things, the platform has embedded a string of original series and films into pop culture like Squid Game, Money Heist and Tiger King. That doesn’t mean Netflix skips over reboots, remakes or adaptations. Whether it’s a book adaptation like Bridgerton, or Fuller House or Lucifer, they’re all originals based on existing properties.
But there’s a constant rotation of content. It’s easy to find a list of Netflix’s new original releases for each month — and year. Whether it’s a film, reality show, or much-hyped upcoming season of a popular series, Netflix has a steady flux of originals that subscribers can count on every week.
Read more: Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 4: The Full List of Release Dates
How do they compare in overall variety?
Disney Plus has some gaps for adults, while Netflix has a balance
You can’t dispute Disney’s collection of movies and shows for kids. Its catalog contains nearly 100 years’ worth of goodies and was crafted with young imaginations in mind. That said, every series and film on Disney Plus stands firm on that legacy of crafting family-oriented content. It’s paradise for kids and a home run on nostalgia for adults.
Generally, nothing beyond TV-14 or PG-13 has been on the streamer. With the new addition of Marvel’s TV series that it scooped up from Netflix, Disney Plus is giving adults a taste of mature titles with Luke Cage, The Punisher, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Agents of SHIELD
Still, it may not be enough to hold your attention if you’re in the mood for something gritty and fresh. Disney Plus has a hefty selection of documentaries, TV shows, animated tales and blockbuster movies, and there are approximately a little over 1,000 pieces of content, total. Most of it comes from a Disney-owned network or studio like ABC, Pixar or Marvel.
Meanwhile, Netflix reportedly has over 3,000 movies and 1,000 TV series on its platform. It offers a well-stocked cabinet of original and licensed fare for kids of all ages, but also something for every genre. In addition to checking out its homegrown creations, you can watch content from the CW, Fox, Universal Pictures, Showtime, USA and more.
Catch anime, preschool hits, rom-coms, horror flicks and just about anything else on Netflix. Because maturity ratings range from G to NC-17, whole families can watch certain content together or adults can stream all the violence, dark comedy or romance they want.
How do Disney Plus and Netflix deliver content?
Netflix started a trend, and Disney’s strategy entices
Disney Plus debuted its extensive catalog at launch in 2019, and continues to grow by adding films and TV shows — whether they’re fresh or straight from the old vault. When it comes to new TV series episodes, they premiere weekly on the streamer, much like traditional networks. The strategy has paid off by building anticipation for the next weekly installation. Invested viewers keep up with their favorite shows’ schedules and tune in to see if their fan theories are valid.
While you can binge-watch older shows on Disney Plus, this is Netflix’s specialty. Fans are known to plan their binge schedules around the release dates for popular shows such as Ozark and The Witcher. Some of its original reality shows air weekly episodes, and recently, the streaming service has been splitting its big series’ seasons in half, debuting them months apart. However, Netflix generally sticks to a content-dump format so you can absorb eight to 10 episodes at eleven. And those jaw-dropping cliffhangers are typically reserved for season finals, ensuring you tune in for the next binge session.
Which streaming service should you choose?
Disney Plus wins for families, but Netflix has everyone covered
Disney Plus sits on a treasure trove of old and new programming, and its decision to give subscribers access to Hulu and ESPN Plus with the Disney Bundle offers added value. It wins with pricing, however, the streamer’s selection of content is aimed at kids, families and franchise fans. As far as quantity, quality and interface, the platform is on equal footing with Netflix.
If you can afford both, go for it, as it will be difficult to run out of things to watch across all genres and age ranges. But if you can only choose one, we’d lean toward Netflix based on its rotating stable of originals and its global selection for audiences of any age or background.