Being a brand-new streaming-service, Disney+, has had its share of hiccups on its rollout. On the first day of operation, many would-be subscribers complained they couldn’t get the app to work, as they saw a graphic of Wreck-It Ralph looking forlorn. Ralph breaks the Internet indeed.
However, there was good news once the service did start to work. Users found that Disney+ did not have a feature that has annoyed Netflix users for years — namely the auto-preview feature that Netflix users have no control over. And like Netflix, Disney+ offers a way to avoid opening credits if you want to.
Disney+ minimizes opening credits
Whenever you click on a Netflix series, it gives you the familiar red N with their intro sound. It serves the same purpose as the old MGM lion or the Disney castle. Here’s who made it and/or put it on the platform you’re watching. If the series has an opening title sequence, as did House of Cards or Jessica Jones, you could skip past that.
Screen Rant reports: “What’s different about Disney+ is that their programs don’t have intros. For instance, The Mandalorian introduces itself with a title and no opening credits sequence of any kind.”
This isn’t completely correct. There is indeed a very quick Disney+ logo, then a Lucasfilm/Star Wars logo sequence that altogether takes up about 30 seconds of time. You cannot skip past that, but there is no opening credits title sequence that sets the tone.
On Disney’s Encore series, about former high school classmates restaging the musicals of their youth, there is only the Disney+ title card, but that’s all. On shows that didn’t start with Disney, such as The Simpsons, you can skip the intro if Danny Elfman’s theme drives you mad, but then you miss the chalkboard and couch gags.
Disney+ has no auto-preview
One Netflix feature that Disney+ thankfully did not copy is the auto-preview feature where, when you scroll through titles and land on one for more than a couple of seconds, it gives you a very loud, and to many, annoying trailer or other sneak peak whether you want it to or not. Netflix’s logic in doing this is that it wants to give subscribers more information about a title upfront so that you spend more time watching and less time browsing.
The only thing is, the preview is often so loud and obtrusive that you may want to press play just to make the preview stop. Either way, Netflix wins.
Disney+ is brand new to the streaming game. Disney knows that subscribers will actually want to browse through the titles so they’ll say, “Oh, wow, look at all the stuff they have just starting out! That’s most of their animated movies! I haven’t seen that one in years! Let’s watch that!” No preview necessary.
Disney+ eschews binge-watching
Disney+ viewers certainly can binge hundreds of episodes of The Simpsons if they want, or they can binge Disney’s animated movies if that’s their jam. However, when it comes to the brand-new series, like the much buzzed-about The Mandalorian, Disney is departing from the Netflix playbook.
For most of their original series, Netflix drops all the episodes of a season at once, so viewers can watch as many or as few as they want. In that way, with House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black, Netflix popularized the practice of binge-watching You no longer had a week to find out what happened next. More recent thinking, however, reasons that if people watch all the episodes in one or two gulps, then that season runs short and hot, and the buzz quiets down too fast.
By contrast, with The Mandalorian, Disney+ has decided to drop episodes on a weekly basis. While that may disappoint habitual bingers, what that slow roll-out does is stretch out the anticipation and keep the conversation going longer. That’s why everyone is talking about Baby Yoda. And that is also why Baby Yoda will sell like hotcakes this holiday season. Disney may be new to streaming, but in terms of selling their shows, they know exactly what they’re doing.