It used to be so much simpler. Want to stream high quality television? Subscribe to Netflix. End of story.
But in 2023, the streaming market is far more fractured. There's more competition and, as a result, far greater choice. There's Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, Stan, Binge to name just a few. So many to choose from…
That's why we're directly comparing two of the services – Netflix and Disney+ – right here, to help you choose which subscription makes the most sense for you.
A quick note before we start. This comparison is based on content and content alone – meaning you can expect a fair amount of subjectivity!
For a comprehensive, objective review based on performance, stability and usability, CHOICE also has you covered. Read more on how each streaming service stacks up according to those metrics.
Now we've got that covered, let's begin.
If you like movies…
This is a tough call.
The first thing to note is that Netflix usually has around twice as many movies as Disney+ in its library. So if you're looking for straight up volume, you should probably go with Netflix. Netflix has also invested a lot of money in producing original movies, some of which are Oscar winners.
But Disney+ has a very specific set of movies in its growing library. It has Marvel, Star Wars, and – of course – the Disney collection. You're unlikely to see these flicks on other services, so if you're a fan of any of the above, you should probably shell out for a Disney+ sub.
Also, it's well worth mentioning that, in Australia, Disney+ has access to the Star back catalogue. Obviously a number of these movies are rotated in and out according to licensing agreements, but right now Star has access to a solid amount of critically acclaimed movies like 'Heat', 'The Martian', 'Banshees of Inisherin' and more.
Hard to make a judgement either way here.
If you like TV shows…
You should probably go with Netflix. Not just for the sheer volume, but also for the quality. Netflix has a deep, powerful library of high quality TV shows and Disney+ struggles to match it.
Not only that, but Disney's attempts to create TV shows based on its massive repertoire of intellectual property has been hit and miss. There have been hits like 'Andor' and 'Loki', but shows like 'Moon Knight' and 'Secret Invasion' have been fairly disappointing. Long story short, if you're looking for TV to binge, Netflix is your best bet.
If you like documentaries…
This is another tricky one. But when push comes to shove, you're probably best going with Netflix.
Netflix's incredible library of documentaries is arguably one its strongest features. True crime, nature, history… Netflix has all avenues covered.
That being said, Disney+ is no slouch in the documentary department either. It has access to the National Geographic library, which is jam-packed with fantastic content. It's a slightly different style of documentary compared to Netflix, but well worth watching nonetheless.
If you like sport…
Definitely go with Disney+. Disney+ has access to ESPN's incredible 30 for 30 series, a critically acclaimed sports documentary stalwart. There are also great individual series, including 'Welcome to Wrexham' and 'Matildas: The World at Our Feet'.
If you're into sport, we highly recommend subscribing to Disney+
If you have kids…
We recommend going with Disney+.
Netflix has a spectacular suite of shows and movies for children – but Disney is Disney.
With Disney+ you have access to multiple movies from Disney's legendary back catalogue, plus Pixar movies, and a great selection of fantastic kids' TV shows. The quality and volume is almost overwhelming.
If you like anime…
You should probably go with Netflix.
Netflix has invested heavily in anime over recent years. Not only does it have a great collection of licensed shows, it also has a decent amount of original content, such as 'Cyberpunk: Edgerunners'. But the best part? Netflix gives you access to the incredible Studio Ghibli movie library. End of argument.
Disney+ is making inroads here – it has an anime category and looks to be in the process of building it out. But Netflix is miles ahead in the anime department for now.
The choice is yours! It's usually best to have a quick check of what's available on each service to get an idea of what you prefer. Content aggregators such as JustWatch provide up-to-date summaries of what's available on all streaming platforms.
It always makes sense to rotate. Don't be afraid to swap subscriptions, or suspend them in order to try another service for a few months. It's also worth noting that there are many streaming services out there, like SBS On Demand and ABC iView, that are completely free.
Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.