Last month in a blaze of publicity Disney launched DisneyLife, a new internet based on-demand streaming service that allows subscribers to access a range of Disney films, books, music, apps and TV shows in the United Kingdom.
In the future DisneyLife will be the home of content including over 5,000 music tracks from Disney’s back catalogue including High School Musical and Frozen, books based on Winnie The Pooh and Pixar’s Cars, and more than 2,000 TV show episodes.
Sadly Disney’s Star Wars and Marvel brands are not included within DisneyLife, they’ll be offered as separate subscription – based services which will be launched at a later date.
“Our team has worked tirelessly to create a personal, intuitive and unique experience for the whole family,” Paul Brown, general manager of DisneyLife UK told The Guardian. “Disney means something different to every parent and child and now with DisneyLife we are handing over the keys to them, to explore the ever-expanding digital world of Disney – wherever they are and whenever they want.”
Each DisneyLife account can have up to six profiles, and while content can be viewed on the Web, there’s a strong emphasis on support for iOS and Android devices, including Android TV. Subscribers can also push music and video to TVs via Chromecast or Apple TV, though the Apple TV support is in the form of AirPlay, and is limited to SD video quality.
So after trying the service for a month will I be continuing with my £9.99 a month subscription. Unfortunately for Disney no I won’t.
The problems I have with the service is that unlike many other on-line streaming services like Netflix and the BBCs iPlayer for example is that there is no Smart TV App available so you can’t access the service from your television set.
The service also does not work on older versions of Android tablets, which is just the type of device parents pass on to their children to use.
Trying to find something to watch on DisneyLife is also a bit of a mission. The search tools are appalling to use. You would think that just by typing in the name of a movie would bring it up. But no – you have to go through a very complicated scrolling process to find what you want to watch.
But my main bugbear with DisneyLife is that you cannot download a movie or TV programme to your device to watch later unless you have an active internet connection. So downloading something to watch on the commute to work on the bus or train when your 3G / 4G connection is patchy or non-existence is a no no unfortunately.
Disney has come very late to the on-demand internet streaming world, and I was hoping that a more polished product would have been released by a company the size of The Walt Disney Company.
If the service was free I would not mind so much, but for a £9.99 a month subscription fee (£120 a year) Disney has launched a very inferior product compared to the many other on-line streaming services that are already available in the market place.
Overall I’m left feeling very disappointed with DisneyLife, considering the huge back catalogue that Disney has available at its disposal the movies and shows available are very limited, and if your a Disney fan like myself you will already have all the content available on CD, DVD and Blu-Ray.
It’s a great shame that DisneyLife does not give you the magic at your fingertips their advertising tag line would suggest.
DisneyLife can be found at: disneylife.com