Disney Plus: The Killer Feature No One Is Talking About

Disney Plus: The Killer Feature No One Is Talking About
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When Disney Plus launches in Australia tomorrow, it will be one of the cheapest streaming entertainment services in the country. It will also be the only place to (legally) watch the first live-action Star Wars series, The Mandalorian.

But these aren’t the reasons we’re excited. Disney Plus has another ace up its sleeve – and it could be the deciding factor that gets you to subscribe.

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Back in 2016, Netflix Australia secured the streaming rights to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It was a major coup for the company that doubtlessly compelled thousands of Star Wars fans to join the service.

Fast-forward to the present, and A Force Awakens is no longer on Netflix.

The same thing happened to Rogue One, Doctor Strange, Finding Dory, Captain America: Civil War, Zootopia, Black Panther and countless other movies Netflix doesn’t own the rights to. They were all unceremoniously dumped as soon as the licencing rights expired.

This is a recurring problem when it comes to streaming third-party content. Because licencing agreements only last a year or two, your favourite movies are in constant danger of removal. If you’ve ever searched for a movie on Netflix, Stan or Foxtel only to discover it has disappeared, you know firsthand how frustrating this can be.

Disney’s killer hook

Disney Plus is different. Because it only streams content it owns, nothing will ever leave the library. Provided you keep subscribing, everything will be available on-demand, effectively forever. This is huge.

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It means some of the world’s most popular franchises finally have a perpetual home. From Star Wars to The Avengers, to Pixar’s most beloved movies, it’s all available to stream with no expiry date.

Lifehacker Australia reached out to local Disney representative who confirmed this was the case:

As a Disney+ subscriber, if you have downloaded your content, it will never leave the platform.

Personally, we think this boosts Disney+’s value proposition significantly. It’s the next best thing to owning the movies on Blu-ray. (And without the frustrations of physical media.)


Of course, the flip side to the above is having less content overall. You can only watch movies and TV shows that Disney owns the rights to, with no third-party content to pad out its library. This helps to explain why Disney Plus is cheaper than its competitors.

With that said, the list of available content is still extensive. In addition to the titles mentioned above, there’s also a bunch of Disney animated classics, their live-action adaptations and the entire run of The Simpsons, to name just a few examples. (Again, this content will always be available, not just for a year or two.)

You can see some of the confirmed launch titles here.

We should point out that Disney may change its approach in the future. It could start removing and recycling titles to create the illusion of fresh content, for example. There’s also the faint possibility that Disney will sell off some of its IP in the future, which would likely result in those franchises leaving the service.

But for now, the content is here to stay. As long as you download the titles you love, they will never leave the platform. This is something no other streaming service can currently promise.

Disney Plus launches in Australia on November 19 for $8.99 per month.

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  • As a Disney+ subscriber, if you have downloaded your content, it will never leave the platform.

    Well that’s a loophole big enough to steer a cargo ship through: “…IF you have downloaded..”

    Whaddya wanna bet certain titles are going to become unavailable for those who haven’t downloaded them?

    There is so much we don’t know about streaming services and what commercial factors go into decisions about what to push forward and what to bury, how ‘views’ are monetized and what that would look like inside a monolith like Disney. We know that Disney has just about pioneered that shitty practice with the Disney Vault only being reversed specifically for the launch of this service.

    Who knows what kind of similarly-shady, manipulative bullshit they’re going to pull if they figure out how to steer what people buy through manipulating what the streaming does? Or if some third parties get some wins in court over residuals or royalties, will related content suddenly stop turning up on searches and never grace a front page again?

    I figure that line isn’t worth shit. If it suits Disney to take content offline, it’ll go offline, and they’ll just shrug over the insignificant number of devices that coincidentally happened to have that specific fraction of the library installed.

    • Yeah. When I started reading this article I thought to myself: “Good point! Disney stuff will never leave Disney+”
      Then I read that quote the article uses to “prove” the point, and instantly I turned to scepticism. That quote clearly leaves them a massive out to remove content whenever. And most likely notify no one.

  • They’ve been doing this already for decades, on just about every media platform. Certain movies (especially the old classics) would get a facelift and reissued as “limited edition” for a very short time, then pulled, never to be released again

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