Streaming services like, and have caught our attention this year for their content and prices. But if you have felt it these last few months, there’s probably a good chance you’ll be putting your subscriptions under the microscope. Do you really need it all now?
Netflix surprised us with a price hike in early 2022 and just added one. Amid show cancellations and the , some people are considering canceling their accounts. Disney Plus provides high-quality content that’s on par with Netflix, and its low cost makes it tough competition. Is also but right now, how do these two streaming giants compare in content and value?
Both services have created massive hits in pop culture, as seen with The Mandalorian and 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.
You may be a longtime Netflix subscriber or only keep Disney Plus for your kids and have found a groove with all the streaming platforms you use. However, if you’re someone who’s weighing the cost versus the service to keep, here’s some guidance on how to choose.
Netflix can be credited with starting the streaming wars in 2007. Since then, the streaming pioneer has raised subscription prices and launched a cheaper tier with ads. But Netflix continues to lean toward originals while providing a range of licensed TV shows and movies. Its interface makes it easy to search for content based on genre, popularity or age.
Read our Netflix review.
Disney Plus rises to the top with family-friendly movies and shows. 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 spanning nearly ten decades.
Read our Disney Plus review.
Disney Plus is cheaper than Netflix
Disney Plus is winning the streaming price wars, even as subscription prices change on December 8. The simple $8 per month plan includes 4K streaming, Imax capabilities, and four simultaneous streams. You can also download available titles on up to 10 devices. It has a Netflix winner.
Once December rolls around, that basic plan will include ads, but if you want to watch ad-free, you’ll have to pay $11 a month for Disney Plus Premium. That’s even less than Netflix. Hulu and ESPN Plus can be bundled with your Disney Plus subscription as part of the Disney package. If you sign up for the bundle now, you can get all three services for $14 a month.
Netflix’s Basic with Ads plan costs $7 per month and does not include its full catalog. And although you can watch in HD, you only get one stream at a time and no downloads. The basic $10 version gets you one stream, HD quality, and just one device for downloads. Its most popular premium option is now available at $15.50 per month with two simultaneous displays or devices and HD. Like Disney Plus, Netflix offers four simultaneous streams and 4K, but you need the $20 premium plan for that.
Netflix offers more original titles
Netflix and Disney Plus have megahits in their lineup, but each handles original releases in their own way. Disney Plus capitalizes on legacy properties and existing franchises without really breaking ground on anything entirely new. This approach works against Disney when viewers have to wait for the streamer to drop something fresh. While shows like Loki and Andor were high-quality hits, they are connected to larger cinematic universes. And unlike Netflix, there aren’t many original movies released on the platform.
While there’s a batch of originals in the works that include a new dance movie, a Marvel star-studded reality show, and several live-action book adaptations, the timeline for the projects is long. Most future releases in the Disney Plus lineup revolve around old products, including spin-offs from Moana and Star Wars. Fans get excited about Disney Plus’ exclusive content, but these releases aren’t added on a regular basis.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t find something good to stream from Marvel, NatGeo, or any other brand in the Disney family. It’s the only place where you can watch Obi-Wan Kenobi, Encanto and Moon Knight. And Disney Plus gets credit for the organized layout of the Originals tab, which breaks everything down into five categories.
On the other hand, Netflix originals are nothing to scoff at. In addition to the now-legendary Stranger Things, the platform has embedded a number of original series and movies into pop culture such as The Squid Game, Money Heist, and Dahmer. That doesn’t mean Netflix is eschewing reboots, remakes, or adaptations. Whether it’s an adaptation of books like Bridgerton, or Fuller House, or Lucifer, they’re all originals based on existing properties.
But there is a constant rotation of content. It’s easy to find a list of new Netflix originals for each month — and year. Whether it’s a movie, a reality show, or the much-hyped upcoming season of a popular series, Netflix has a steady stream of originals that subscribers can count on every week.
read more: Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 4: The Full List of Release Dates
When it comes to the breadth of content on each platform, you can’t argue with Disney’s collection of movies and shows for kids. Its catalog contains goodies nearly 100 years old and was created with the young imagination in mind. That said, every show and movie on Disney Plus stands firmly in that legacy of creating family-focused content. It is a paradise for children and a nostalgic home for adults. But Disney Plus has some gaps for adults, while Netflix has a balance.
Generally, there is nothing beyond TV-14 or PG-13 on the Disney service. With the addition of the Marvel TV series picked up from Netflix, Disney Plus gave adults a taste of more mature titles with Luke Cage, The Punisher, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Agents of SHIELD And its Werewolf by Night which brought adults. -level of horror in the MCU — and Disney.
Still, it might not be enough to hold your attention if you’re in the mood for something raw and fresh. Disney Plus has a wide variety of documentaries, TV shows, animated stories, and blockbuster movies, and there are about a little over 1,200 pieces of content, in total. Most of them come from a Disney-owned network or studio like ABC, Pixar, or Marvel.
Meanwhile, Netflix reportedly has around 6,000 movies and TV series on its platform. It offers a well-stocked cupboard of original and licensed fare for kids of all ages, but also something for every genre. In addition to its homegrown creations, you can watch content from The CW, Fox, Universal Pictures, Showtime, USA and more.
Watch anime, preschool hits, rom-coms, horror movies, and just about anything else on Netflix. Because maturity ratings range from G to NC-17, entire families can watch certain content together, or adults can stream all the violence, dark comedy, or romance they want.
How Disney Plus and Netflix offer content?
Disney Plus debuted its extensive catalog at launch in 2019 and continues to grow by adding movies and TV shows — whether they’re fresh or straight from the old vault. As for new TV series episodes, they premiere every week on the streamer, just like traditional networks. The strategy paid off by building anticipation for the next weekly installment. Invested viewers watch the schedules of their favorite shows and tune in to see if their fan theories are true.
While you can watch older shows on Disney Plus, that’s Netflix’s specialty. Fans have been known to plan their binge schedules around release dates for popular shows like The Witcher and Bridgerton. Some of the original reality shows air weekly episodes, and recently, the streaming service has split the seasons of its major series in half, debuting them months apart. However, Netflix generally adheres to a format of content dumping so that you can absorb all the episodes at once. And those jaw-dropping cliffhangers are usually reserved for season finales, ensuring you’ll tune in for your next eating session.
Which streaming service to choose?
Disney Plus is home to a treasure trove of old and new programming, and its decision to give subscribers access to Hulu and ESPN Plus with the Disney Bundle adds value. It wins with pricing. However, the streamer’s selection of content appeals to kids, families and franchise fans. In terms of catalog depth, quality, and interface, the platform is pretty much on par with Netflix.
If you can afford both, give it a try as you’ll be hard pressed to run out of things to watch across all genres and age ranges. But if you can only pick one, we’re going to lean towards Netflix based on its rotating stable of originals and its universal selection for audiences of any age or background.