Well the word is certainly out. Disney + hit the scene last week and added millions of viewers overnight. But since it launched viewers have noticed some glaring weaknesses in the app. Like other commenters, I have been using the service myself and despite the fact that I do like a lot of the content there are some glaring problems that Disney should have seen ahead of time. And that’s what we are talking about in this article. Here are improvements Disney Plus Needs.
A row of content you are currently watching
There have been video apps for a decade. At this point there are basic expectations as to what we should see. One of them is that we should be able to easily pick up where we left off. With books we bend a corner or use a book mark. With on demand content we depend on the system to tell us where we were. DOn’t take it for granted that I will remember that say I was watching Avatar 3 days ago. Listing like this help things build an audience. Notice the pic is a screen grab from Hulu, a Disney owned product. So it’s not like Disney has no idea how things usually work.
Needs A Universal Interface
Again this is one of those defaults that people expect with a premium service. The service works and looks differently on different platforms. And that is confusing users. For instance on the Roku family of devices Disney + movies and shows have an option to resume or start over if they have been played previously. On Fire TV there is only a button for Play. If you have been watching previously then pressing play will cause the show or movie to resume where you left off. But what is missing is start over. Another difference is that on some platforms the skip function or fast forward will display a window that indicates where I movie or show is as far what you will see when you resume. But on the Roku family of products all you see is how much time will have elapsed once you resume. By having inconsistent experiences it leads to confusing buzz around the product.
Better Sub Sections
The Disney + Search section provides a number of breakout options like The Darth Vader Collection. But for all of the content it has it would be helpful to create more ways to find things. Collections staring certain actors. Curt Russle for instance has appeared in Disney owned movies his whole life. Movies staring any given performer would be very nice. Haley Mills, Julie Andrews etc.
Needs original Content fast
Ok this is a tricky one. Disney owns its content. It is original. It did not pay to license Frozen right. So really Disney does not need more original content. It needs new content. One of the big draws of the service is the coming Marvel based content. The coming Star Wars based content etc. There is a treasure trove of possible things Disney could make new shows and movies about as exclusives for the service. But at the moment there are 13 titles in the original section. And 5 of the selection are nothing but short form content or a collection of short form content. Its time to put the billion dollar studio to work.
On Screen Suggestions
Making suggestions based on things watched has become a tried and true way of engaging an audience. At the moment Disney does not do that. There is not a section say because you watched Fantasia, or something along those lines. Because of this the service is like walking into an old video store and wandering around wondering what’s there. If you watch cars you might like Herbie. But a kid would never know one or the other existed without a well rounded understanding of Disney’s history.
Now we understand. How Disney + works is not earth shatteringly important. But as advocates for streaming we would love to see little changes like these put in place soon if not just for our own enjoyment.