Disney Plus Vs Netflix Vs Amazon Prime Vs HBO Go: Which Video Streaming Subscription Is Worth Paying For?
This article was first published on 24 December 2020 and has been updated with the latest information
For Star Wars fans in Singapore who have been waiting patiently to watch The Mandalorian (legally) for more than a year now, this wait is finally over. From 23 February 2021 onwards (today!), Disney Plus (Disney+) will be officially launched in Singapore. Both Star Wars and Disney fans will be able to catch their favorite shows via Disney+.
Similar to Netflix, Disney Plus (Disney+) is a video streaming subscription service that was launched in the U.S. on 12 November 2019. While Disney is known for kids-friendly movies such as Frozen, Toy Story and High School Musical (for anyone growing up as Zac Efron fan), not everyone may realise that Disney also owns popular brands such as Lucas Film (Star Wars) and Marvel (Avengers, Iron Man).
In total, Disney+ owns six content brands – Disney, Marvel, National Geographic, Pixar, Star Wars and Star. All six content brands will be available in Singapore.
How Much Will Disney Plus (Disney+) Cost In Singapore?
Disney Plus (Disney+) will cost $11.98 a month or $119.98 a year ($10 per month) in Singapore and provide you with access to over 500 movies and 15,000 episodes of content from Disney. The subscription will offer up to four concurrent stream unlimited downloads of content on up to 10 devices and seven different user profiles with personalised recommendations, including Kids Profiles for age-appropriate content.
Having signed up for Disney Plus since its launch in February 2021, here are some thoughts I have as a paying subscriber.
The amount of popular brands that Disney owns makes Disney Plus exceptionally enticing. If like me you have young kids, all the Disney cartoons that you can expect your kids to enjoy watching are now available anytime on-demand. These include Mickey Mouse, Frozen 1 & 2, and a never-ending list of princess movies and series. The good thing about Disney + is that you can assign Kids Profile to the profile that your kids use for watching to ensure that they only watch content that is appropriate for them.
The Star Wars collection is huge. Besides all the Star Wars canonical movies (11 in total currently), the TV series are all available as well. These include The Clone War, Rebel, The Mandalorian, and the newest series launched, The Bad Batch. The problem is that most die-hard Star Wars fans have likely already watched the old movies and series so the question is whether Disney can produce sufficient new Star Wars shows quick enough to get.
The Marvel shows are possibly the can’t-miss series. Thus far, Marvel has launched two Disney+ only series in WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Loki will be launched on 9 June 2021.
Disney Plus (Disney+) Vs Netflix Vs Amazon Prime Vs HBO Go
With the existing video streaming subscription services in Singapore, including Netflix, Amazon Prime and HBO Go, Singaporeans are spoilt for choices on which video streaming subscription service they should sign up for, and which they should discontinue.
After all, there are only so many videos a working adult or a school-going child should watch in one month right?
Let’s take a comparison across these four popular video streaming subscription services.
|Disney+||Netflix||Amazon Prime||HBO Go|
|Monthly Subscription||$11.98 ($119.98 a year)||$11.98 to $19.98||$2.99 (promotional)||$13.98 ($119.98 a year)|
|Free Trial||N.A||30-day free||30-day free||N.A|
|Concurrent streams||4 streams||4 streams||3 streams||2 streams|
From the table above, we can see that Amazon Prime is by far the cheapest with their current promotional price of $2.99. For the other three, monthly subscription fees range from $10 to $20, depending on which subscription type you opt for.
However, price isn’t everything. After all, the most important part of a video streaming subscription service is whether they offer the shows that you want to watch.
Being a dominant player in this space, Netflix owns a huge catalogue of content. It distributes plenty of good shows, such as Billions and Breaking Bad, which are produced by TV networks. They also have an excellent track record of producing their own original TV series and movies such as House of Cards, Stranger Things and The Crown that you can’t watch anywhere else. The latest testimony to Netflix’s ability to continuously produce these great TV series is 2020’s The Queen’s Gambit.
If you are a fan of binge-watching, we think it’s going to be hard to give up on Netflix, even if you have other video streaming subscriptions that you have signed up with.
Amazon Prime is currently offering a promotional price of $2.99. In terms of content, Amazon Prime Video offers significantly fewer shows compared to Netflix and the other players mentioned in this article.
That said, Amazon Prime Video comes bundled with other Amazon Prime services such as free one-day domestic delivery service, so the Amazon Prime Video can be seen as an add-on rather than what you are solely paying for. At $2.99 per month (for now), Amazon Prime is worth subscribing to if you are a frequent Amazon shopper, even if you don’t watch their shows regularly.
HBO Go is the primary option to turn to if you somehow have not watched Game of Throne yet, and want to do it legally. HBO Go is filled with hundreds of HBO shows produced over the years, and it’s a great place to turn to if you wish to watch shows like Band of Brothers, Sex and the City, and True Detective.
With Disney Plus launched, Singapore viewers are going to spoil for choices on which video stream subscription services they want to spend their money and time on. Disney Plus doesn’t offer a free trial so if you have lots of time on hand, it might make sense to subscribe to Disney + on the monthly plan and to quickly binge-watch all the shows that you want to watch (e.g. The Mandalorian, WandaVision, and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier).
The challenge for both HBO Go and Disney+ is that most of their top shows (e.g. Game of Throne and Star Wars) are TV series or movies that many of us may already have watched while growing up. So while offering instantly recognisable shows watched by millions of people can be seen as an advantage, you may not access as much content that you previously couldn’t watch on TV, cable, or at the movie theatres.
Disney Plus however is leveraging on the fact that it owns popular brands such as Marvel and Star Wars to produce original series such as Loki, WandaVision and Obi-Wan Kenobi. More impressively, they are getting some of the original hollywood casts such as Ewan Mcgregor (Obi-Wan Kenobi) and Tom Hiddleston (Loki) to reprise their roles in the series. In other words, Disney is successfully leveraging on the success of its movies on the big screen, and transforming them to subscribers for Disney Plus
In contrast, Netflix’s original content is not available anywhere else unless you subscribe to Netflix. This puts them at an advantage because Netflix is always aggressively producing new content with some of these shows starring Hollywood A-listers. On the other hand, Disney+ is leveraging on its very powerful