Talk Nerdy to Me

It’s a Whole New World

Disney streaming service joins growing options

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Back in the early days of dial-up internet (for the younger readers, you used to have to dial into an internet connection using your land-based phone line. This connection was limited in speed due to the bandwidth limits of the phone line) it could take you 15 minutes or more just to download one picture.

My first modem was 2400 baud. It wasn't good for much more than connecting to text-based Bulletin Board Systems or BBS. A BBS was usually a computer someone set up in their home that allowed others to dial into it to share information and messages. In all honesty, they were mostly used to play text-based games. These BBS's were limited by how many phone lines they had coming into them. Land based phone lines were cost prohibitive back then and most BBS's only had one connection at a time. They limited users on how long they could stay connected so that everyone would have a chance to get in and play the games.

When I upgraded to a 9600 baud modem a whole new world was opened to me. It was now possible to go on the internet to websites that had actual graphics. You could read the news and see the accompanying picture in mere seconds. It was an amazing time.

Then the internet connection speeds kept getting faster. People were uploading videos! No more still photos, but actual video/audio. You could download a short segment with highlights from sports in just a coupla minutes. This was unprecedented. Having information on demand with pics and video at the click of your mouse! Then the next inevitable step in our online evolution occurred. Netflix discovered a way to effectively and efficiently stream video to your device on demand.

Netflix was ahead of the curve and enjoyed their success without competition for a while. That wouldn't last though. Other companies started popping up with their own streaming services. Hulu and Amazon Prime started to gain a lot of the market with their services. Then Netflix innovated once again and started producing exclusive content. They developed their own movies and series that you could only watch by subscribing to their service. Once again, the other services copied the blueprint and began making exclusive content.

Even YouTube jumped into the arena with their subscription service and exclusive content. Some newer companies (I am looking at you CBS) decided to take their very popular fan favorite titles and making continuing series of them under their own streaming service. Heck, even DC Comics got into it with their DCU streaming service giving access to their comics, cartoons and brand-new exclusive content.

Then the sleeping giant awoke. Disney saw how well their properties were doing on other streaming services. They began by not renewing their licenses with those streaming services. Disney's properties are very expansive. Just off the top of my head, they own Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and ESPN. The content library just from those companies is HUGE! Disney didn't just bank on the popularity of their already produced content. They went out and developed their own exclusive content using those licenses.

Disney is planning Marvel series featuring Loki, Scarlet Witch and Vision, Falcon and Winter Soldier, Hawkeye, and Black Widow. If that wasn't enough, they are also working on Star Wars series like “Obi-Wan.” The series they decided to feature on their launch though, is the “Mandalorian.” Boba Fett is a Mandalorian and arguably one of the most popular characters in the series. The Mandalorians were also prominent in the Star Wars animated series Clone Wars and Rebels. So far it looks like Disney chose wisely in putting the launch firmly on the shoulders of the “Mandalorian.”

So, the question now is which streaming services should you subscribe? Cable TV seems to be in a slow death spiral. A lot of people are cutting their Cable TV and using it solely for internet access. With all the subscription streaming services you could end up paying as much as your old Cable TV bill. All these ala carte options for shows doesn't seem to be sustainable for the long term. I predict a new company will emerge that will allow for bundling of the services with one bill. Until that happens, I will just keep paying for my Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Max and Disney Plus.