The other day, I was scrolling through the streaming apps on my television and realized that I hadn't opened, or even thought about, Disney Plus for over two weeks. Specifically, I hadn't touched Disney Plus since Feb. 9, the finale of The Book of Boba Fett.
Why? Well, Disney Plus hasn't had the kind of splashy release that pulls me back, as there's been no new Marvel or Star Wars series to pick up in Boba Fett's wake. The next big upcoming Marvel series is Moon Knight (coming March 30).
I wish I could cancel for a month or so, then sign up for Disney Plus again when there's something to watch. I've had this thought for a while, actually. In the streaming industry, that cancel-and-resubscribe behavior is called churn. People do it all the time to save money on their ever-increasing streaming bills.
Disney Plus, I wish I could churn you. There's just one problem — I'm locked into the last nine months of a three-year subscription. Yes, the deal that I got to save money is actually costing me cash.
I got a great deal, but ...
In August 2019, before Disney Plus launched a few months later, the company offered members of official fan club D23 a killer discount on the new streaming service. If they signed up for a three-year subscription, they'd get 33% off.
Excited by launch-day titles like The Mandalorian and upcoming Marvel series, as well as access to Disney's enormous back catalog, I became a D23 member (there's a free tier) and took the deal. I paid $140.97 for all three years, or $46.99 per year (at the time, an annual subscription cost $69.99).
As the Baby Yoda memes piled up, I patted myself on the back for taking a leap and paying upfront. But it didn't take long to start feeling disenchanted by Disney Plus. After The Mandalorian's first season ended at the end of 2019, there were months when I didn't watch Disney Plus at all. And it wasn't for a lack of trying.
I first wrote about my problems finding anything to watch on Disney Plus fairly early on in the service's lifespan. In February 2020, I complained about its sad Valentine’s Day collection.
Still, locked into a three-year subscription, I persisted in looking for movies and shows that appealed to me. I re-watched a couple of Marvel movies and Frozen II when Disney Plus gifted the pandemic-stricken world with an early streaming release. But in general, I didn't use Disney Plus for most of the rest of 2020.
Disney Plus needs more content for grown-ups
Disney Plus didn't become a destination again until the premiere of WandaVision in January 2021. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, followed by Loki kept the service top of mind for the first half of the year.
Look, I know that Disney Plus is a must-have service for families. I have several friends whose households would collapse without it. But as an adult without children in the home, Disney Plus is not a must-have. It's a "nice to occasionally have."
It won't become a must-have without more content for grown-ups — and beyond Marvel and Star Wars. The Mighty Ducks reboot was OK, but still a bit juvenile. But it seems like Disney Plus has ceded even YA territory to Netflix. Why couldn't shows like Cobra Kai or Never Have I Ever work on Disney Plus?
Hopefully, Disney Plus' acquisition of the Netflix Marvel shows and new parental controls in the U.S. is a sign that they're bringing in more mature content.
For me, they're in the same boat as Peacock and Paramount Plus. Both of those services offer deep libraries and great originals — but not so many or so frequently as to require subscribing every month.
Unfortunately, I'm stuck with Disney Plus — at least until November. When my three years is up, I'm ready to churn.
If you're also thinking about cancelling Disney Plus in the near future, perhaps the service's stellar line up for March will keep you subscribed for at least a little bit longer.