01st Dec2020

Carrying A Platform – This Is the Way

by James Smith

It’s rare that a single name or franchise can carry an entire platform in the modern internet age, whilst there may be standout titles, there are often just as many supporting names that may be a little smaller but just as important to the success. This is true across many different platforms in the online space, for example in big modern gaming examples throughout this pandemic where the best video slots online have been a prime feature for many operators, there have been plenty of supporting titles too – with platforms such as Epic Games, it was largely known for Fortnite, but it wasn’t the huge judge of success for the platform. But the typical online mould has seemingly been broken in one online platform – Disney+.

With early releases for shows such as Hamilton and Mulan, Disney had been very clear that they would be placing a high premium on pushing their online streaming service over other parts of their business particularly as online streaming had grown so quickly throughout the year – and with a huge back catalogue of childhood favourites and newer titles in the superhero franchise, it was largely expected that the newer entry to streaming would have absolutely no issues at capturing a huge audience, but things didn’t quite pan out that way and even early on there had been concerns around some viewership numbers and whether or not it could carve a space out in the competitive industry.

Image courtesy of radiotimes.com

A singular title has changed this for Disney+, however, and has in some regard started its own cult following too. Jon Favreau’s take on a newer storyline in the Star Wars universe had been a quick favourite throughout the introduction of season 1 as the helmet clad bounty hunter exists in a time after the known Star Wars universe of the Jedi and the Sith, and with other characters like Baby Yoda taking the world by storm the success was immediate. Season 2 has also grown on these successes, with new viewing figures showing that the show is raking in up to five times more viewers than the other shows on the platform – praised for the great directing and the way it delivers a new take on the Star Wars story, for now it least it seems as if there’s a lot of heavy lifting to carry the entire Disney+ platform on its back where other shows haven’t been able to capture the same popularity.

If anything, however, this does show that the huge production quality and great direction may lead to some strong future options for the platform – with licensing rights to a huge number of different franchising from the existing Star Wars universe to the expanded Marvel superhero universe, we may see some other storylines be transformed into a television series, and may see some of our favourite characters or universes expanded on further and continue to provide Disney+ to explore new content much in the way Netflix had done early on through titles like Daredevil, The Punisher, and Jessica Jones.

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