Back in 2019, Disney+ launched to thunderous applause from fans, but nearly three years later, while Disney+has become one of the biggest streaming services across the globe, it is far from the best service available. So let’s look at some things that Disney could do to make Disney+ a better service.
1) Live News And Sports Would Be A Huge Get
Remember CNN+? The streaming service was shuttered within a month of launching. Disney-owned Hulu does offer some live streaming from channels like ABC News, ESPN and other Disney owned channels. Paramount+ and Peacock also offer live TV including sports and news. With Disney+ recently live streaming the Oscar nominations and the confirmation that Dancing With The Stars will be streamed live, it seems logical that Disney+ would start to integrate some live news or live sports as ESPN has been drip-feeding a number of documentaries onto Disney+.
Merging in live news and sports can also help bring in a new audience to Disney+ as the service looks to continue its growth.
Editor’s Note: In the past 2 weeks, Disney has added live channels to their On-Demand websites like NatGeoTV.com, Freeform.com, and ABC.com. Our staff believes this is not a coincidence and that this new technology has been developed with the intention adding it into Disney+ this fall when the ad-tier arrives.
2) Fixing Metadata Issues Would Be Nice
This is something which is rather disappointing, despite having hundreds of titles available to stream since the launch, there are clear issues with some titles like Alice’s Wonderland Bakery which for some reason has the Disney Junior branding in the title when you search for it in the Disney+ search bar. The JUST renewed series Intertwined is incorrectly labeled as “Disney Intertwined” and they have nonsensically listed The Lion King as “The Lion King: The Walt Disney Signature Collection.”
There is a selection of other titles which have a similar issue, most of them are films within the Marvel Cinematic Universe including the Iron Man trilogy as well as Thor, Antman. Captain Marvel and The Avengers all featuring the Marvel Studios branding in the titles when searching for them. This was not present on other services. Disney also throws the words (Shorts) or (Series) at the end of of many titles, lists things with incorrect release years, and more.
DejaView maintains a list of these ongoing issues here.
3) More Content Is Better Than No Content
This is a point many people will understand straight away, Disney+ has struggled to keep adding fresh content to the service. Especially in the USA, Disney+ has struggled with adding new titles and recently begun skipping days entirely 1 2. Two well-known series that Disney promised would be available on the USA version of Disney+ were Zorro and Malcolm In The Middle, both of which are available on Disney+ in select regions outside the USA, however, neither made it to the United States library.
If Disney wants to keep winning over more subscribers, then they will need to add more content to the Disney+ library. With the recent announcement of Disney+ USA sharing Love Victor with Hulu, it begs the question of if other Hulu Originals like Crush or Marvel’s Hit Monkey will also be shared.
4) Stop Censoring Things
The rapper Tom Macdonald once said “Censorship’s an issue because they choose what they erase,” this is something that Disney has been revelling in when it comes to their censorship of classic films on Disney+. Films including Splash and the original Adventures In Babysitting have been unnecessarily censored for their Disney+ releases.
Disney has censored about two dozen films and series on Disney+ including all the visual album documentaries they made for Disney+ starring women (Billie Ellish, Taylor Swift, Beyonce, and most recently, Olivia Rodrigo) while allowing The Beatles: Get Back to stream uncensored. They also infamously censored Hamilton which was censored for its Disney+ launch.
Disney needs to stop censoring their films and take a page out of Warner Bros’ playbook and add a disclaimer to their classic films that will read something like “This film contains outdated cultural predictions, we are showing this film in its original form for educational purposes, these depictions were wrong then and wrong now, but we hope we can all learn from the past and grow from it” all they need is something like this for twenty seconds at the start of some of these old movies.
Disney is one of the largest media companies in the world and should start looking at the ideas mentioned on this list on how to improve Disney+ as a platform. Disney broadcasting ABC News on Disney+ would be a genius plan as they most probably wouldn’t have to worry about licensing rights to stream the news as news should be made available to viewers in the most convenient way possible. The plan to fix metadata errors like adding the “Disney” and “Marvel Studios” titles into the titles of select content should be a pretty easy fix for a company as large and as powerful as Disney.
All streaming services need to constantly add new content to their platform to make people continue to subscribe or first take out a subscription. Disney has arguably the most impressive TV and film catalogue but they underutilise that catalogue when it comes to filling up the Disney+ service. If Disney did something like dropping the classic Planet Of The Apes films from the 1970s it could help catch the attention of classic film fans.
When it comes to censorship I plead to everyone at Disney to not censor their past, because if you pretend that the outdated cultural depictions never existed then we as a society can’t improve ourselves and learn from them to be more accepting of one another.
If any Disney executives read this, please listen. These are four points which are causing Disney+ to lose market share to services like HBO Max in the USA. If you want to make Disney+ keep its millions of subscribers then listen to your audience. The ad-supported tier is a start but you have a long way to go. And if you do read this, make sure the content you promote as “Coming Soon” actually shows up. It’s disappointing that so much content you say is coming doesn’t show up on the day.
Editor’s Note: Please submit feedback to Disney on these issues here: https://help.disneyplus.com/csp
An Autistic Disney, Marvel and Star Wars fan from England. Ethan is an advocate for equal representation in media for people of colour, LGBTQ+, women and people with disabilities. One day he'll be a published author mark his words, but for now, he covers Disney stuff.