Culture

Disney+ Customers Canceling Subscriptions After Mandalorian Season Ends

Disney promotional image of "The Mandalorian."

Disney didn’t plan its subscription channel launch very well. After introducing the world to its original series, “The Mandalorian,” starring an adorable baby Yoda that everyone fell in love with, Disney+ had nothing to fill the void left by the end of the season. While “The Mandalorian” is the best new series I’ve seen in a long time, after it ended there was only one original film left on the channel, “Togo.” The remaining content consists of old movies we’ve already seen.

Users are canceling their subscriptions and deciding to sign up again when “The Mandalorian” debuts its second season. This is puzzling to Disney fans who were expecting the more original content we see on Netflix, which housed Avengers spin-offs like “Jessica Jones,” “Luke Cage,” “The Punisher,” “Daredevil,” and more. Fans expected that those shows would reappear on Disney+. Unfortunately, due to contractual obligations with Netflix, Disney is not legally allowed to even plan episodes of any of these shows until this year, which means the content won’t be rolling in for another few years. IndieWire reported in April that the shows may not come back at all. 

According to a production executive, Disney has been warned by lawyers not to even think about developing new content featuring the characters of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and The Punisher until the two-year mark. The clarification is an important once, as it means Disney probably won’t be spending time during the next two years working on new material with these characters to launch new series in 2020. If Disney can’t even begin developing a new Daredevil series until 2020, then it’s going to take much longer than just two years for the character to return to the big or small screen. Another option is Disney does not revive the superheroes at all.

You would think that Disney would have considered the ramifications of breaking the Netflix contract before doing it and putting their most popular shows at risk. Instead, they launched their new channel without having access to the shows that would have made it successful.

 

“Star Wars Clone Wars” is another original series that is very popular, but the new season was not ready to go when Disney+ launched. Disney has realized their mistake and has bumped up the new “Clone Wars” season 7 to February 17. But with the end of “The Mandalorian” coming in the last week of December, they’ve left a huge hole of no new content for the entire month of January. Not only that, but if you’re not a Clone Wars fan, there’s nothing new for you in the foreseeable future.

 

Why did Disney have so few original selections for the launch of their new channel? Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Hulu all have robust original content that keeps customers interested. Perhaps Disney overestimated the draw of their old library to keep customers watching. They may not have considered that a lot of us own those movies on DVD.

If Disney+ wants to compete with the big subscription channels, they’re going to need new content fast.

Megan Fox is the author of “Believe Evidence; The Death of Due Process from Salome to #MeToo.” Follow on Twitter @MeganFoxWriter