How Disney + adds adult content will open new doors
After nearly two and a half years of existence, Disney + finally includes R-rated content on their platform. They have been doing this under the Hotstar and Star sections in international markets for a while, but this is the first time they are doing it in America.
It was recently announced Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and all of Marvel’s other Netflix Original series are on their way to Disney + March 16 in several markets, including the United States. As these shows will be the first R-rated projects to hit the streaming service in America, as mentioned earlier, it is likely that more mature titles will follow in the coming years, especially if the move proves successful and attracts old and new subscribers. In fact, as the series migrates from Netflix to Disney +, a new parental control system for R-rated content will also be introduced to the platform, further opening the door for TV series or movies the streamer can add along the way.
Disney + has been trying to walk a fine line since the streamer was first announced. It initially seemed like a more niche streaming service, primarily for families (part of the first presentation to consumers was that there would be no need for parental control or guidance on what children were watching) and big Disney fans who wanted access to all the studio’s content in one place. But high-profile series from Star Wars and Marvel Clay was soon announced, which extended the appeal to the platform.
Disney + quickly became one of the best streaming services in the world, but the library did not quite match the peers. There was plenty of content for families and superfans of certain franchises, but not nearly as much for a general adult audience as Netflix or HBO Max, other than programs like the pro-shot of Hamiltonhis original Broadway cast. It’s really a top-notch service with relative niche content, but the Disney brand is so strong that it’s managed to survive – even thrive – despite this.
Disney + has apparently had a bit of an identity crisis in this regard until now, but it seems that it is finally expanding its network and starting to treat itself as a streaming service for everyone, including adults who are not fandom. Some parents may be disappointed that the entire library will no longer be 100% “safe” for children, but hopefully parental controls will be easy to use and calm these concerns. In addition, the adults who primarily subscribe to exclusive content from their favorite fandoms may have reason to continue subscribing to the platform during “dry periods” when no new titles are released from these franchises.
Of course, the big question is, where does Disney + go from here under these new “rules”? Will it start producing original R-rated content by itself? Will it end up absorbing Hulu (a more adult-oriented Disney-owned streaming service)? Or will it just keep adding existing adult content to its library for now?
Anyway, Disney + is already a juggernaut in the power wars, but this decision opens up many doors that are likely to make it even bigger in the years to come.