Disney+ vs Netflix: Which should you subscribe to?

Battle of the media titans
Battle of the media titans (Image credit: Android Central)


Disney+ Logo

Disney Plus offers an unparalleled selection of content from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and beyond. With several new original series already set to premiere and the impending launch of the Star brand and Star Plus app for international audiences in 2021, Disney Plus may be the service to beat. So when it comes to Disney Plus vs. Netflix, which should you subscribe to?


Coming for the crown

Reasons to buy

Exclusive streaming of most Disney and Marvel content
Affordable pricing and bundles
More family-friendly account structuring

Reasons to avoid

Less adult content (for now)
Premier Access purchases cost $30 on top of the regular monthly subscription fee
Legacy licensing contracts prevent availability of some content


Netflix Logo

One of the first streaming services, Netflix has redefined how we view TV and movies. While the loss of Disney-owned properties has taken a bite out of Netflix's library, it still dwarfs Disney Plus, but more isn't always better.


The original streamer

Reasons to buy

Wider, more varied content library
Exclusive original series and films
Larger selection of adult and international content

Reasons to avoid

More expensive for multiple streams and 4K
Losing most Disney and NBC content
Lots of duds and dreck in the catalog

Disney Plus offers some of the highest-rated movies and shows in the world. Its monthly subscription fee is cheaper, and it offers an annual fee that can save consumers even more. It's also the only source for the vast majority of Disney-owned content right now, with even more content leaving Netflix and other competing platforms over the next couple of years. If you were only going to pick one streaming service, Disney Plus would be the winner for most folks, but the ongoing "streaming wars" aren't a zero-sum game.

Prices and features

If you're picking one of these streaming plans over the other, chances are that it's about not being able to justify paying for two streaming services. In this regard, Disney has been very aggressive with its pricing against Netflix's trio of plans. Whereas 4K streaming and four concurrent streams require the $18/month Netflix Premium, you can pay half that price for the same 4K streaming and four concurrent streams on Disney Plus — or less than half if you opt for the yearly billing rather than monthly. This remains true when you consider that, beginning in March 2021, Disney Plus will raise its subscription fees to $8 per month or $80 a year.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Disney+Netflix BasicNetflix StandardNetflix Premium
HD streaming✔️✔️✔️
4K streaming✔️✔️
Concurrent streams4124
Profile limit per account7555

Neither Disney Plus nor Netflix currently offers a free trial period, but that won't be nearly as big a deciding factor for most of us instead of the high number of concurrent streams and user profiles. Netflix's five-profile limit has been a huge limitation for larger families. Disney Plus allows for seven profiles, which gives families more breathing room rather than forcing the kids to all share a single Kids profile.

4K streaming is included for all Disney Plus subscribers. While Disney Plus was not available on Amazon Fire tablets when it first launched in November 2019, all tablet models running Fire OS 5.0 and later are now supported by Disney Plus. Disney Plus is now also available on Amazon Fire TV sticks. As such, the streaming service is currently compatible with nearly the same amount of mobile devices, tablets, smart TVs, and game consoles as Netflix.

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Android phones/tablets✔️✔️
Android TV✔️✔️
iOS & iPadOS✔️✔️
Apple TV✔️✔️
Fire tablets✔️✔️
FireTV devices✔️✔️
Xbox One✔️✔️
PlayStation 4✔️✔️
Nintendo Switch✔️
Web clientIssues on Linux/Chrome OS✔️
Smart TVsAndroid TV-run Sony TVsRoku TVsChromecast built-in TVsFireTV TVsRoku TVsHisenseLGPanasonicPhilipsSamsungSanyoSharpSonyVizio

Content: A tale of two massive media libraries

Having been in the streaming business as long as Netflix has, it makes sense that its library would dwarf most, if not all, of the competition. While Netflix has had a noticeable bite taken out of its library with Disney opting not to extend its contracts, Netflix still has more than 47,000 episodes of television shows and over 4,000 movies. Disney Plus launched with 7,500 episodes of television shows and about 500 movies, less than a fifth the size of Netflix's library, but is only growing.

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Films available500+4,000+
TV series available7,500+ episodes47,000+ episodes
Notable Original SeriesThe MandalorianWandaVisionStranger ThingsThe Queen's GambitNarcos
Notable FilmsAvengers: EndgameStar Wars Episode I-VIIIEvery Disney theatrical animated filmThe IrishmanEl CaminoRoma

That said, as anyone who's ever surfed Netflix will no doubt tell you, that massive library doesn't mean much if most of it's trash. While there are thousands of titles absolutely worth losing days and nights of your short life to on Netflix, you'll have to dig through about 2-3 times the chaff to get to the kernels of goodness.

The quality ratio on Disney is much higher than Netflix, especially if you have a child or child-at-heart in the house.

Disney's got plenty of old films on Disney Plus that probably aren't worth the server space they're taking up, but the quality ratio on Disney is much higher than Netflix, especially if you have a child or child-at-heart in the house.

Disney Plus isn't just for kids, though: some of the biggest blockbusters on the planet are on here like Avengers: Endgame, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Avatar, Black Panther, Toy Story 4, Pirates of the Caribbean, Soul — films that drew in just as many adults as they did kids. Disney Plus is also home to Star Wars: The Mandalorian, the series about bounty hunters and lawlessness after the Empire's collapse. The streaming service also has plans to premiere several Star Wars-adjacent and Marvel spinoff series within the next two years.

Disney also plans to launch its new Star brand and Star Plus streaming app in 2021. Launching in select European countries, Canada, and New Zealand on February 23, Star will serve as a free tier within the Disney Plus app. It will carry content from Disney's other non-franchise owned brands, including shows from FX and movies from 20th Century. Star Plus will launch exclusively in Latin America in June 2021 as a standalone streaming service. That service will carry Disney-owned content from its top brands, as well as linear sports content from ESPN and ESPN Plus. Star Plus will cost $7.50 per month (or the local equivalent) or as part of a bundle with Disney Plus for $9 per month (or the local equivalent). It's unclear at this time how the Star and Star plus brands will impact the Disney-owned Hulu brand.

Netflix has a huge, if slightly shrinking, amount of content for you to watch, but Disney Plus has it beat on average quality. If you prefer to mostly watch mature content, you'd probably be better off with Hulu. Still, considering you can get the Hulu, ESPN+, and Disney Plus bundle for less than a Netflix Premium subscription, Disney comes out ahead in that fight.

So, Disney+ or Netflix?

Both of these streaming services will provide countless hours of entertainment, and both will offer programming the other cannot. As a result, many will choose to pay for both. Fortunately, with the number of ways you can get Disney Plus, or Netflix included with another service, you may not have to choose at all:

  • If you're a T-Mobile customer, you can already get Netflix for free.
  • If Verizon is your current wireless provider, you can get a year of Disney+ for free.
  • Disney currently offers a bundle of Disney+, ESPN+, and basic Hulu for $13/month on Nov. 12, which is less than Netflix's 4K Premium plan.

There are definite benefits and pitfalls to both services, but in the cordcutting age, Netflix and Disney Plus are going to be fighting for your screen time more than they're fighting for your money. You can subscribe to both services and still pay far less than cable, but at the end of the day, you can only watch one stream at a time. Disney Plus has my eyeballs and undivided attention as I dive into all the old TV shows I haven't been able to find online since they stopped airing in the late '90s.

Ara Wagoner

Ara Wagoner was a staff writer at Android Central. She themes phones and pokes YouTube Music with a stick. When she's not writing about cases, Chromebooks, or customization, she's wandering around Walt Disney World. If you see her without headphones, RUN. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco.