Will DisneyLife Be Frozen Out?

So, ten pounds a month for DisneyLife? I'm glad it's not just me scratching my head. Today, Marketing has put a huge question mark against a monthly subscription that costs more than Netflix or Amazon Prime and is, by definition, limited to Disney content. What's more, there's not even a chance to build a snowman until Spring next year, when Frozen will be released.

I guess Disney is going to find out how many of these ten pounds a month -- or just under -- services people are happy to purchase. For some reason, everyone seems to be after ten pounds of your hard-earned cash at the moment, whether it's a music or tv streaming service, a tech insurance package or an online games account.

I have a huge question mark, however, over whether people are happy to spend ten pounds a month for a service that only brings Disney content. Don't get me wrong -- as any parent knows, Disney's content is great, it's just that there are several hurdles. Those that would be expecting to give the gift of Olaf and Anna this Christmas are just going to have to "let it go" that there is no Frozen, but that's not the biggest problem. Just about every movie they're pitching on the home page for the service is already out there under peoples' television in a DVD drawer or available to stream on Netflix or Sky. To be compelling, there would need to be some feeling that you're getting exclusive content. That is kind of hinted at with the audio books people can download, but if you already have the Disney app, these can be paid for individually. Trust me -- you probably won't get past half a dozen before your child gets interested in something else.

I'd also suggest that the same applies for games. Unless new games are made available, parents are probably of the mind that they already have Disney games downloaded to a digital device for free or low cost. DisneyLife makes a big point that there are no in-app purchase requirements for subscribers --but again, go to your settings menu and you can bar the kids from paying for upgrades unless you specifically approve.

When I look at the content that is on the service's home page I can't help but feel I already have all of it that I want, so why would I sign up to the service? Now, if it had the latest blockbusters that are still in the cinema or have just been on the big silver screen, that could well be a different conversation. However, the way movies are financed means they will have to offer a purchasing window on DVD before they are made available on pay tv and can then eventually trickle down to a branded app. I'm no movie expert, but I doubt if Disney will have more than two or three blockbuster movies per year, usually released around school holidays. Considering that a ten-pound note is likely to buy the DVD before it becomes available on pay tv, you would only need to purchase a couple of DVDs a year to keep the kids happy -- or even better, nan and granddad need only tick a DVD off Santa's or the Easter Bunny's list and we're up to date.

Now, you may well be thinking that Disney's trump card is that we all have DVDs scattered around the home, we don't have all that great content in one app on several family members' digital devices. That's absolutely true, but then again, if you have a Netflix or Sky subscription, you can make exactly the same point.

I could well be wrong, but I think people have become more diversified in their media consumption online, we often look at news shared by friends on social media from sites we wouldn't have previously checked out and we all get hooked on dramas our friends tell us we simply have to watch -- and no doubt, sign up to Netflix to be join in the first wave of excitement. Content is all around us from a multitude of sources, and one company launching a single service through which only its content is available just seems limiting to me -- just as if Netflix only carried its own series and not a wide variety of movies and tv dramas. When the majority of that content is available elsewhere already, or even already owned, then the service just becomes even more limited.


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