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The streaming era : Disney Channel forgotten because of Disney+

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Today, streaming has become an essential mode of consumption. Although it has not yet succeeded in completely replacing television, streaming has certainly had a major impact on the way people consume audiovisual content. Streaming has offered consumers unprecedented flexibility to watch content on demand, at any time and on a variety of devices connected to the Internet, so competition for traditional television is strong. Streaming platforms have introduced new ways for consumers to access content, offering flexibility and personalisation that linear television cannot always match.

To illustrate this phenomenon, what better example than Disney+?

Photo by Skitterphoto for Pexels

The arrival of Disney+ has had a significant impact on traditional Disney channels such as Disney Channel. With Disney+ offering access to a vast library of Disney content, including series, films, documentaries and exclusive content, this has naturally affected viewership and interest in Disney TV channels.

Being born in the 2000s myself, I grew up watching Disney channels. I remember coming home from school and just putting the TV on that channel, no matter what programme was waiting for me, because I liked them all. And of course I wasn’t the only one, as my friends and I discussed the previous day’s programme every day. That’s something that’s hard to find these days, because with streaming platforms, everyone can watch what they want, when they want.

Disney has adjusted its strategy to adapt to new content consumption habits. There has been a reduction in the production of new exclusive content for broadcast on Disney television channels, with this content being directed towards Disney+ instead. Many programmes that would previously have been previewed on channels such as Disney Channel are now shown exclusively on the streaming platform. This has led to a decline in the appeal of traditional channels, as some of the content that used to attract viewers is now available on Disney+.

But that’s not all. Numerous other factors emerging in relation to Disney+ have led Disney Channel to a very significant loss of audience. Not only does Disney+ offer a wider range of content with exclusive TV shows, films, documentaries, short films and series, but the platform also hosts a vast catalogue of Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic content, giving subscribers exclusive access to a wide range of choice. For further information, all you need is an Internet connection to watch content. They are not restricted to specific Disney Channel broadcast times. What’s more, content is now available in high definition and even 4K for certain titles, offering a visual quality superior to that of traditional television. Although Disney Channel defends itself as a children’s channel, it has been criticised on a number of occasions for using overly ‘adult’ language and situations in certain productions. Here, Disney+ users have more control over what they watch, thanks to features such as the creation of profiles for different family members and parental control options. And of course contrary to Disney Channel, Disney+ is an ad-free service, offering a smoother viewing experience with no advertising interruptions.

However, Disney+ is the only streaming platform to jeopardise its own TV channels, Netflix and Amazon prime don’t have any. But it has to be said that general trends point to a shift towards streaming platforms because of their convenience, variety of content and accessibility, which could influence many users to prefer Disney+ to Disney Channel.

“Disney Plus has caused somewhat of a revival for the company, offering a platform for people to watch old and new productions; however, I do not believe that this will be enough to save the Disney channel brand”

Infography by Flore Toussaint for The Circular

Sources : Statista, Nielsen Media Research, “The decline of disney” by Emily Jonhson

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