Recently I wrote an article about the one DisneyLife mistake Disney+ needs to learn from, which was the lack of access to the app through devices like Smart TV’s and Video Game Consoles, but there are some things that the first Disney streaming service could teach Disney+.
1) Quicker Releases
DisneyLife has an incredible back catalog of Disney content but it seemed massively behind when it came to TV shows and movies. It was a little annoying since new albums would be available on the same day as release, though these probably won’t be part of the upcoming Disney+ service.
Movies would take nearly two years to appear on DisneyLife, which seems pretty slow compared to other platforms, however it’s obvious this is due to restrictions to current distribution deals with Sky, which will hopefully be removed eventually.
TV Shows also suffered the same problem, new shows would appear on the Disney Channel, but would take months to appear. Shows especially should be available at the same time, as often they were promoted as being viewable on DisneyLife by watching the Disney Channel live.
Disney+ has to be seen as an equal to traditional channels, not as an afterthought.
2) Live TV Streaming
With Disney still offering traditional television channels, if Disney+ could offer channels like XD, Junior and maybe National Geographic, it would help increase value to subscribers. It’s been a great addition to DisneyLife, especially for “premiere” events or specials. While all these shows on these channels need to be available on-demand instantly, the option will help fill out the amount of content available. While Hulu offers a Live TV option for a wide selection of channels, it costs more. DisneyLife doesn’t charge extra for it and it allows more people to view those few Disney channels.
One of my personal favourite aspects of DisneyLife is the music, being able to download an album to my iPhone and play offline, while in the car on a commute or in the bath! I very much doubt Disney+ will offer this as part of their content strategy since there will be original shows and movies, which DisneyLife doesn’t have, plus these albums are on other music subscription services like Spotify and Apple Music.
4) ShopDisney/Disney Store Discount
DisneyLife subscribers get 10% discount at Disney Stores and online at ShopDisney, though there are some limitations such as not being able to use the discount on other brands like LEGO, this is a nice little bonus that helps promote Disney’s stores. And if your a regular customer, the discounts can offset the price of subscribing. It would be a nice touch for Disney+ to offer this and offers great synergy within the Disney brand.
One of the more unique options in DisneyLife is that they offer a selection of children’s books, which are only accessible via touch devices like tablets. Much like the music section, this feels like filler content to help boost out DisneyLife, which Disney+ shouldn’t won’t need and isn’t the direction this new streaming service needs to be, it needs to focus on TV/Movies.
6) Downloads For Offline Viewing
One of the great additions to the app was how you can download movies and shows onto your tablet/phone, which is great for watching on the go, especially for younger audiences while traveling or if you need some movies to watch while chilling in a hotel. It’s not much for users on their TV’s, but since other platforms like Netflix offer it, hopefully Disney+ will implement this option too.
DisneyLife has been a great basic streaming service, it offers a huge selection of classic shows and movies, plus bonus content like books and music. It’s been a good testing project for Disney, which I hope they’ve learned some lessons from.
What aspects from DisneyLife would you like to see at Disney+?