Disney today added another missing feature to its Disney+ streaming platform — and with it, the platform is starting too look an awful lot like its fellow services, namely Netflix.
I have praised the features of Disney+ before — such as its transparency on when its missing movies would be added. But for all the features I liked, there was a big one missing: a Continue Watching option. To be clear, Disney+ originally had this feature, and took it out to fix bugs. Today it added it back, and the Continue Watching queue now appears on your homepage.
With the addition of this feature, it feels like the platform is finally starting to achieve full parity with its cousins, Hulu and Netflix. It’s actually not too shabby for a service that’s been around for so long to have features it took Netflix years to develop. In case you’d forgotten, this is your reminder that Netflix is 20 years old at this point.
While I’m sure Disney would prefer to differentiate its service from its successful predecessor, the fact remains that it’s following the leader pretty darned closely. And now with the addition of the Continue Watching feature, it looks more like it than ever. This can only be a good thing, as whether the two platforms like it or not, they will inevitably be compared.
Besides the nuts and bolts, Disney’s also taking a crack at Netflix‘s original programming, albeit within the bounds of its owned franchises. Still, I’ll wager The Mandalorian‘s getting just as much attention as one would hope for a show from an unproven service. Netflix didn’t release its first original shows until 2013 (Orange is the New Black being one of the first), but it made sure they were front and center. Disney’s doing the same with its shows (although, having seen it, I’m not sure the live-action Lady & the Tramp will do much for anyone no matter how they push it).
You could say Hulu acted as a test case for the company, but it didn’t build Hulu from the ground up. This is also your reminder that Hulu is 12 years old now. No, we’re not old — age is just a state of mind.
I would argue Disney made the right choice — it might have had more to lose by trying to be radically different from Netflix. Sometimes wheels just don’t need to be reinvented.