This week I am taking a completely different approach to this column, today I’m talking Disney+ Playlists, an idea I had this week. Instead of looking at a TV show or movie, I want to talk about what I want to see in terms of Disney+ improvements. The inception of this idea came from a discussion between fellow LRM contributor Kyle Malone and me about Star Wars. Then the idea formed into what I think would be a unique feature that Disney could bring into the Disney+ streaming platform.
Want to hear more? Read on for more details about how I think Disney+ could introduce a ‘Playlists’ feature into Disney+. A Playlists feature would be welcome on Disney+, but probably not much use on their rivals like Netflix and Amazon Prime. So stick with me, while I try and sell you on the Playlist feature for the future of Disney+.
I guess the idea for this already exists for music streaming, but not any TV/Movie streaming services as yet. I’m talking about how iTunes and Spotify allow user-created Playlists. Right now, if Seth McDonald and I were shooting off about one of our favorite bands Led Zeppelin, we could share Playlists with one another.” Hey Seth, I’ve made what I think is the definite Zeppelin setlist, here check it out and tell me what you think? Seth can then listen to my choices, edit the Playlist, and send it back to me. “Nah Bro, you tripping, here is the definitive Zeppelin setlist.” It’s a fun feature that I regularly use with friends, the only difficulty is that some people are on iTunes, while some are on Spotify.
Now, as said above, I really cannot see much use for this on the likes of Amazon or Netflix. both of these services use Watchlists, and really, that’s all they need. However, Disney+ is a different beast because of the content it features. If we think about it, Disney+ is the custodian of two massive franchises that spawn multiple media projects. These projects across TV, movie, animated, and shorts all form some sort of official canon. When Jammer was starting The Clone Wars on Disney+ this week, we were all debating how to best watch the show. Again, I could see how the likes of a shareable Playlist option would have really helped Jammer decide how to watch the show.
So I’m going to explore what it might look like if Disney+ introduced a Playlist option. The best franchises to look at are therefore the MCU, and Star Wars.
Disney+ Playlists – Stage 1
Tech-wise, Playlists are not too hard to implement. The content the user wants is already stored on Disney+. Disney has actually made up some lists of their own, like Avengers, Captain America, and the original Star Wars trilogy. All that would be required would be an interactive hub, maybe best used on a mobile device or laptop, but available on any device. The user could start a new Playlist, name it, describe the purpose, and start adding in shows/movies in the order they want.
A good example would be someone creating a complete MCU chronological watch order. Imagine having every piece of MCU content in a list in chronological order? So the Playlist might start with Captain America, then Agent Carter, and then jump between movies and TV shows. This Playlist could be shared with friends and the most popular Playlists could be featured as options for all Disney+ subscribers. Another user could take this MCU chronological list, and then remove all episodes of Inhumans because they don’t like it. That new list excluding Inhumans may be popular enough amongst other fans as well.
There could also just be fun little lists that never go beyond your own little friend group. Here at LRM we could all have our perfect versions of the Star Wars saga set up, and share then with one another just for fun. I say just for fun because it would be rare for any of us to agree with one another on Star Wars. I could actually create a playlist that just ignores the Star Wars sequel trilogy, for example. It would do no harm, it would be no different than manually selecting the content you want to watch. The difference is that you’d only have to do it once, unless you chose to edit. Maybe you don’t even have to create a list, and you can just have fun downloading the lists of other users for the hell of it?
Disney+ Playlists – Stage 2
Seriously though, can anyone see a downside to this? all Disney would have to do is create the software that runs it, and ensure it works. Disney+ only works online, so there is never a situation where someone wouldn’t have access to their lists, or those of others. I only see a unique selling point for Disney+ that makes use of the content they have on offer. However, this is just Stage 1, Disney could take this idea even further. Though, I’ll admit the tech aspects of Stage 2 are unknown to me at this time.
Ok, everyone loves Playlists. We have fun, we share them, and we wonder why this wasn’t always a thing. What comes next? Really want to get the geek squad invested in the Disney+ platform? Then why not allow users to choose their favorite versions of movies? Many shows, and especially movies have deleted scenes. Some of these deleted scenes are completed and added to Blu-ray and DVD. What if there was a way to allow fans to include deleted scenes of selected movies back in? I know this feature would not work for every movie. However, for those movies with this feature, fans would be in geek dreamland. Let me give you an example that would instantly attract major attention.
The Star Wars Original Trilogy
This takes me back to the start, to the conversation between Kyle Malone and me, alluded to earlier. The chat was about which versions of the Star Wars original trilogy we like best. Now, Kyle only watches Laser Disk conversions of the original theatrical releases. I, however, can’t be bothered with all that and was just watching them on Disney+ 4K. A lot of fans are like Kyle though, they don’t like the changes that George Lucas made to the Star Wars movies.
Over the years Lucas changed those movies, for almost every release. It was like, once he started, Lucas couldn’t stop tinkering. Both Kyle and I agree that some of those changes were better, and some were worse, a lot worse. We don’t completely agree, but we’d both love to be able to make the perfect version. This version would only feature the changes we like, but that’s far too tricky a task to do as a fan project right now.
It would make sense for Disney+ to contain all alternate versions of Star Wars. Maybe when you click on Star Wars it offers you the standard final version from George Lucas. However, there is also a tab that says alternate versions, and it opens up a new menu. This new alternate menu would feature every version of Star Wars from 77′ through to the most recent Blu-ray edits. So if you like the 97′ version of Star Wars, but not the changes made after that, you could watch it. Of course, it would all be remastered in 4K.
RELATED: What This Fan Wants From…Obi-Wan Star Wars Show
How about incorporating our new Playlist tech and these alternate versions together? What if a user could select a specific version of a scene and create their own perfect version of Star Wars? Imagine the sheer fun Star Wars geeks could start having with that? I already can think of almost every scene I’d remove, change etc. It wouldn’t even really require an editing tool, as that’s already been done with each version. If I decide to keep all the Special Edition changes in Star Wars, but just want to change the Han and Greedo scene, it could be done. The Disney+ system just goes to whatever track you want and plays it from there. It’s not like you have to store your own version on a hard drive, it would just automatically change versions on the fly from the servers.
Is that not a unique selling point for Disney+, which essentially keeps fans happy? However, the official versions are the ones you would just find on the front page for casual viewers. Again, I only see positives from this idea, what harm can it really cause?
Wrap It Up, Fanboy
None this might ever happen, but it’s a damn good idea, right? The Stage 1 process, well, I honestly can’t see why Disney could not have that in place within 12 months? We are not talking about some technical marvel here after all. Stage 2, ok that might be more tricky, and perhaps there are factors preventing it I’m not aware of? When it comes to rights, well, there are no issues there. Disney+ content is all owned by Disney, so they can allow fans to do whatever they want with the content they give access to.
It would also encourage users to stay subscribed to Disney+ when there are content droughts. I’d definitely be more loyal to a streaming service that has my own personalized taste for the biggest geek franchises. Surely I cannot be alone in this thought process, would Disney+ Playlists be something you’d love to see added? Let us know what you think of all this in the usual spot below.
Continue the LRM Online conversation on Discord by CLICKING HERE!
Have you checked out LRM Online’s official podcast feed yet The LRM Online Podcast Network? This includes our flagship podcast Los Fanboys, our premiere podcast Breaking Geek Radio: The Podcast, GeekScholars Movie News, and our morning show LRMornings. Check it out by listening below. It’s also available on all your favorite podcast apps!
Subscribe on: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | SoundCloud | Stitcher | Google Play