Not to sound like a broken record, but it sure does seem like streaming is having its own "peak TV" moment, in that it has peaked, and now we're just going back to TV. That seems more likely the more we find out about Disney+, the streaming platform that seems to hate the freedoms of streaming so much that it doesn't just want to get rid of Netflix, but the chill as well.
Like a mouse slowly undoing his two pants buttons at a urinal, Disney used its D23 expo to offer up some teasing glances at its streaming efforts. And what we managed to glean is that Disney doesn't want to put a lot of effort into adapting its model to streaming. Instead it's going for a very traditional-looking approach to online content distribution -- which is to say, just take their obsolete Disney TV channel and put it online, and taking all the restrictions of television with it.
What does that mean? For one, no binging. Disney+ has rejected the Netflix model, and will release its original programming on a weekly basis, just like grandma used to make. Of course, Disney isn't doing this because it wants us to save us from oh-so-unhealthy binge culture. If anything, it's to make people consume their content with an even greater hunger and ferocity. After all, Disney is the king of turning everything they do into a big deal (like turning a hotel into a cruise ship for fanboys), and it's hard to make a meal out something when you drop it onto people's plates all at once. So expect that starting November 12, every day will be a Disney+ news day, reminding people to tune in and talk about the wonderful new streaming content.
Streaming content that will, of course, not be controversial in the slightest. In order to keep the veneer that they're a wholesome company that doesn't profit off of anything involving blood or genitalia, Disney+ will also not be streaming any movies or shows with an R rating. Disney's disavowed bastards, like Deadpool, will likely wind up on Hulu, the corporation's Redbox-headed stepchild, which is only available to Disney+ subscribers through a more expensive package. To make up for this very old-media segregation, Disney+ will offer even more of its "appropriate" content by including deleted scenes and audio commentary -- except, of course, for the naughty ones in which Kylo Ren trips.
So a weekly schedule of family-friendly programming that doesn't allow R-rated content. That doesn't sound a lot like an exciting new streaming platform. That doesn't even sound like a premium cable channel. It does sound like Disney's attempt to force an outdated entertainment hosting model to teach a new generation that companies, not users, decide what they get to watch and when.
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