Product I Love: Disney+
September 1, 2022
We love a great product here at Connected. So much so that we dedicated an entire series to those products that have etched an extra special place in our lives, or, in this case, the lives of the entire family. Disney+ offers the perfect blend of old and new, and our own Chris Russo has been a loyal customer since day one, but it isn’t just the classic movies that keep him coming back. Discover what sets this streaming service apart from the rest and why it’s become an indispensable part of our Content Marketing Manager’s life in this edition of Product I Love.
It’s both new and nostalgic. It instills its user with a sense of the familiar, connecting them with a past uniquely their own while still eliciting excitement, anticipation, and wonder for the possibilities of tomorrow. Alone or in a group, curled up on the couch or sprawled out on a beach, the ability to distract or educate, laugh or cry, connect or disconnect; is all made easy. Its appeal transcends age and generation. Its familial, parental, economic, educational, psychological, professional, and even social benefits continuously prove their value—all for the low cost of under twenty bucks a month.
As evident in the buzz and activity in our internal #tvfanatics channel every time a new movie or show is released, many Connectors are big fans of Disney+. However, to one Connector; it has become so indispensable we even considered changing the name of the series to “Product I Need,” just this once, a sentiment that should become clear shortly.
So what’s so great about Disney+?
To answer that, we need to go back in time a bit.
Disney+ launched on November 12, 2019. That also happens to be about two weeks before my girlfriend’s birthday (did I mention she’s not only long dreamed of being a Disney Princess but a voice-over actor?) and about three months after the birth of our first child. With nine months to go on maternity leave, I thought the service would make a perfect gift, and it did. Both mom and baby enjoyed its offerings while I went to work, and it provided me with the occasional distraction in the evenings.
And then the pandemic hit.
Everything was locked down, everybody was isolated and working from home, and suddenly I found my entire life confined to a little over 800 square feet in a one-bedroom apartment. And I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to both live and work within a 15-foot radius of a baby, but the only chance you have to get anything done is to distract and entertain them. And for that, Uncle Woody and Uncle Buzz, I will forever be grateful for the time spent with Aidan, making him laugh (allowing me to work) and instilling him with life lessons like only a Pixar movie can.
Aside from the above, Disney+ has provided common ground for three generations to share an enjoyable experience (from 3 weeks old to 73 years old), a distraction during cardio at the gym, a tool to stay sane on long car rides and something to talk about with everyone from people at work to parents at my son’s school.
What are some of your favourite features?
First off, thank you for not using a pitch black background Disney+. Don’t get me wrong, I know the appeal, but it’s such a nice change and point of differentiation.
One feature in particular that I really enjoyed (and I wasn’t alone) was GroupWatch. Needless to say, the pandemic was hard on everyone, and for us, it was difficult having our new family but being isolated and apart from our extended ones, like parents, grandparents, and siblings. GroupWatch allowed us to watch any title on the platform together, giving us the ability to host virtual movie nights. It would sync up everyone’s stream and allow us to pause, rewind and even react to what we saw via reaction icons that can be seen on other viewers’ screens.
I think it’s worth noting that I think the above feature is only as great as it is because it’s coupled with Disney’s incredible IP, providing a unique depth and breadth of entertainment options that, personally, I don’t think other platforms come close to. Disney Classics, Star Wars, the Marvel Universe, the Simpsons, and let’s not forget Pixar. So while it allows me to get some work done in a house full of kids, the entertainment itself is sometimes a little too good not to get distracted myself.
Also, I love that, unlike other services, the content you download stays on your device as long as you have a subscription.
Have you ever recommended Disney+ to anyone before?
To the point where I feel like I’m owed a commission. Friends, family, a few people at the grocery store early on. Although, to be honest, I can’t take the credit because the platform is super intuitive and easy to use. As I mentioned above, my family loves GroupWatch, but that’s only contingent on others having it and being able to use it too. Now, I have quite a few streaming services (Netflix, Crave, Prime, AppleTV on top of Disney+), and when my parents come to watch my son at night, if his mother and I go out, I’ll normally find whatever show was streaming when we left still playing. And that’s because my 73-year-old father can’t figure out (or refuses to) how to use any of the platforms. However, that all changed when we got Disney+, for he took to it like Nemo to water, navigating the platform, even inviting us to his own movie night after he got the service himself.
And if that’s not impressive, my 3-year-old is more fluent with it than I am, able to easily find his own profile and choose amongst his favourite shows.
I may have gotten a bit off-topic, but one of the instances that I always recommend the platform is to new parents. I’ve done so at least half a dozen times, and I’m happy to report that not one has regretted it. Although, I have a feeling I’m not as happy as they are.
Are there any areas of improvement?
There are a few glitchy aspects I find with the platform still. Like every time I stream directly on the TV, I have no problems, but when I try and stream it from my phone to the TV it always does so with a Dutch voiceover, but admittedly, that could just be me.
The only thing I’d like to see would be more nostalgic and retro television shows. While all of the old movies are a great opportunity to connect with others and share experiences from my childhood with my kids, I feel there are a lot of opportunities to do something similar with some of the classics from the 80s, 90s, and 2000s. They have some; I’d just like to see more.
Oh, and I feel there could be a better opportunity to interact with the brand via the platform. Maybe games for kids or contests for adults? Given their ideology of “where dreams come true,” they should push the envelope and develop new experiences for their users. They are known for their incredible customer service at parks; why not try and carry that magic to the platform?
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