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The Carroll News

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Head-to-Head: Netflix has the best original content

Dominic Smith
Netflix and Disney Plus are two juggernauts of the modern streaming industry, but which one provides better original content?

This article is part of a Head-to-Head series. Read the counterargument by Anna Maxwell.

Within recent years, countless streaming services have been attempting to make names for themselves. From Prime Video to Tubi, every name in video streaming wants to make its mark. Though most services rely heavily on third-party shows and movies, the make-or-break element for many viewers is the original content, the stories that can’t be found anywhere else. In this aspect, the reigning champion is none other than the original juggernaut of streaming, Netflix.

As a result of both its seniority and expertise, Netflix has a higher quantity and quality of original content than any other platform currently on the market. This company created cultural phenomena before most of its competitors even started offering services. Before Disney Plus even launched, Netflix had a well-established brand with many original properties under its name.

Even if one disregards its massive head start over its competitors, the quality and impact of Netflix’s output can not be ignored. With mainstream hits such as “Stranger Things” and “Wednesday,” cult classics like “Bojack Horseman” and “The Witcher” and everything in between, the service truly has enough content to satisfy any viewer regardless of their tastes.

The recognition and impact of Netflix originals should not be understated in this discussion. “Stranger Things” is one of the most popular shows of the modern era, hooking people from all walks of life with a gripping science fiction thriller mixed with a 1980s coming-of-age story. Other shows like “The Queen’s Gambit” and “Bridgerton” were huge hits as well that have generated massive fanbases, many of which survive long after the show has finished its run.

Compare Netflix’s impact to that of Disney Plus. There have been a few breakout hits such as “The Mandalorian” and “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” but none of them have come anywhere close to the popularity of, say, “Stranger Things.” In fact, though many people know of “The Mandalorian,” a vast majority of them know nothing beyond the cuteness of Grogu (commonly known as “Baby Yoda”). That’s some cultural impact, I’ll grant, but it doesn’t require people to watch or even know much about the show. All people need to do is see his face and share memes about him on Facebook, giving him the same treatment as the Minions.

Though cultural impact is an important factor, it’s not all Netflix has to offer. Not only does the service have more recognizable properties than any of its competitors, but its track record, though far from perfect, is the highest of all streaming services. It’s the exclusive home of “Bojack Horseman,” a show celebrated for its emotional maturity and excellent storytelling. It has distributed movies such as “The Irishman” from legendary director Martin Scorsese, and “tick, tick… BOOM!” from Lin Manuel-Miranda, telling the story of the iconic playwright Jonathan Larson. The list goes on.

One of the greatest weaknesses of Disney Plus is its reliance on mainstream brands. While there are a few exceptions such as “American Born Chinese” and “Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire,” the vast majority of original content on the platform is tied to some recognizable franchise like Star Wars or the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For fans of these franchises, it’s great to have a place to find all this new original content. The downside comes in the lack of variety offered. Disney Plus is a service for watching content from Disney and its related companies.

Netflix, however, has a variety of shows and movies for all demographics, from educational productions to science fiction horror. Though the quality of all Netflix content is not consistent, the variety ensures that any kind of viewer will find something to enjoy.

Netflix remains the strongest streaming service to this day when it comes to original content. Though others have their fair share of gems, none of them hold a candle to Netflix in terms of overall quality and cultural notoriety.

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About the Contributor
Brian Keim, Opinion Editor
Brian Keim is the Opinion Editor for The Carroll News, hailing from Medina, Ohio. He is a sophomore at John Carroll University, majoring in English with a concentration in creative writing and minoring in communications with a concentration in digital media.
Often referred to as a “person” who “exists,” Brian is also involved in the JCU Improv Troupe and Blue Streaks on the Run. In his free time he allegedly considers film-watching and book-reading to be two activities that are enjoyable as well as life-changing, if you know where to look.
To request biased film opinions, haphazard Academy Award predictions, or otherwise contact Brian Keim, he can be reached at [email protected]

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