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Streaming is a big business that's getting bigger all the time. For ages, it seems, if we wanted to (legally) stream television and movies, we only had Netflix and Hulu to rely on. Amazon then stepped up with their originals in some major ways, and now we also have Disney+ and Apple TV+, with several more streaming only services (possibly too many) on the way. But, few of these streamers come close to matching what Netflix has when it comes to content, and none of them are as original-heavy as the OG streamer. But, Disney CEO Bob Iger knows that's just fine for Disney+
Disney+ came out of the gate on its November 12 launch day with a few originals, and only two of those (The Mandalorian and High School Musical: The Musical: The Series) were scripted shows. More originals have already been added since than, and even more are on the way, such as the highly anticipated, pretty-much-guaranteed hits from Marvel like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, WandaVision and Loki. But, if you're wondering why Disney+ was OK with launching with so few original shows, Bob Iger recently spoke about the decision on a Disney earnings call and said there was a definite plan behind it.
Clearly, the original shows that we decided to invest in, led by The Mandalorian, have worked. We knew when we launched that we were launching with a modest amount of original programming and that it would build over time. So as we look ahead, we’re really comfortable with volume ... I think the best thing about it all is that the decision that we made to go with quality and not just volume is working.
Well, Bob Iger's gotcha there, doesn't he? The Mandalorian (cough Baby Yoda cough) quickly captured the attention of the nation and became a part of the pop culture consciousness, even for many people who weren't subscribed to Disney+ or had never seen the show. Meanwhile, anyone with Netflix will know that the streamer has so many original scripted shows that if you tried to count them all without looking at an official list, you'd miss most of them.
Obviously, Disney+ had a major win in its corner with being able to launch with content from Marvel, Lucasfilm, Pixar, National Geographic and many, many, many decades of Disney classics, so it's easy to argue that it didn't need to open the flood gates of originals on day one to get people to subscribe or keep them hooked. Because of that, the service was able to slowly get the ball rolling on its original shows (and movies) without having to worry about offering enough content to catch those eyeballs, or the dollars that come with them.
In general, Bog Iger and Disney probably had the right idea by sticking with quality over quantity when it came to the original programming Disney+ would offer on launch. Apple TV+ launched a few days before Disney+, with nine originals, most of which are scripted, including The Morning Show, See and Dickinson, but aside from some Morning Show award season love, the buzz for all of its shows has died down, while fans are still very excited to find out what happens on The Mandalorian next.
The same lack of extended buzz can be found with a great number of Netflix originals, but when a streamer has been around as long as Netflix has, people are a lot less likely to cancel, because not only does it have the shows they do want to watch, but they're also willing to try out the new originals without getting annoyed if it isn't something they're interested in sticking with. That is, provided that Netflix doesn't cancel one of their favorites without allowing it to wrap things up. Folks will absolutely cancel then.