We’re all familiar with the online video streaming explosion that is Netflix. What started as a film delivery service back in 1997 has now transformed into a film on demand titan that refuses to quit. You can’t get through the day without mentioning a film that you watched last night on Netflix (as if films aren’t available anywhere else). Certain people in the Stada office are guilty of watching a film on Netflix that they already own on DVD…getting off the sofa and putting a disk into a machine just seems so 2012.
Then you’ve got Amazon Prime Instant Video – a bit more of a mouthful, and a bit more mainstream-movie-release heavy than its competitor Netflix. Other platforms like Now TV, Skyn Go and Mubi are also popular among film and TV watchers – it’s not difficult to see why companies might want to take a piece of this potentially lucrative pie. Even commercial giant Disney isn’t exempt from temptation.
Survey your local primary school, and you’ll be hard pushed to find a parent who doesn’t love the entertaining power of Netflix for their kids. Disney have decided they can do it better, specifically for younger audiences. Their new service Disney Life will provide thousands of episodes and films, cutting out the need for them to rely on external providers for broadcasting.
Notably, the service will only be available in the UK. Disney has so many deals with Cable and Satellite providers, that offering a service like this in the US will undoubtedly cross some legal boundaries. The question is, will parents be willing to pay not only for their ‘grown up’ streaming necessities like Netflix which already has kid-friendly content, but also for a streaming service that caters specifically towards their little ones like Disney Life? With no solid word on when the service is launching, only time will tell.
It says a lot about the state of affairs when we start getting niche streaming services that cater towards specific audiences – and that these streaming services actually make a profit. With rental king Blockbuster a thing of the past and these online platforms gaining prominence, it’s official – we’d rather binge watch Breaking Bad online from the safety of our sofa than drive down to the chippy and rent a couple of DVD’s whilst we’re out. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it is a sign of the times – everything must be on demand, OR ELSE!