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Entertainment giant Disney has announced its own streaming platform and aims to take on Netflix and Amazon Prime with its own service, Disney Plus.
All Disney’s Marvel content as well as the Star Wars franchise will be available on Disney Plus which is set to launch in November 2019. For any television or streaming network planning to take on Netflix, obviously new original content is going to be the major driver for sign ups.
Netflix’s Chef’s Table has been one of the service’s biggest hits, using the kitchen as a theatre of cultural observation. The super high production values, slow motion shots of food preparation along with classical music soundtracks have done for food what BBC’s Life on Earth did for wildlife.
Beyond Chef’s Table, there have been a whole range of food focused shows that have gained their own following and raised the profile of chefs to celebrity. Salt, Fat, Acid Heat, King Georges and The Final Table are all excellent shows in their own right completing a full spectrum food entertainment offering from Netflix.
Food shows have been instrumental in Netflix’s strategy for world domination and it seems they have no limit to the amount of dollars they throw at food themed content. It seems that when faced with an overwhelming choice of what to watch, an easy fallback for many is to switch to food. There’s an incredible draw to sit around and watch food being prepared, it’s something very primal in humans and goes back millions of years.
So if Disney Plus is to challenge Netflix, they’d better have a food entertainment strategy of their own. There’s probably only so much sci-fi, superheroes and animation that people can take. If you’re looking for people to sign up to Disney Plus and let their Netflix subscription slide, you would think that Disney would be planning something big food-wise.
When Disney released a list of major series they are producing, the food offering was strangely underwhelming. It seems Disney’s big play is a show called ‘Be Our Chef’. Where families get the chance to cook together to create a signature dish at Disney Parks. The show will be hosted by Angela Kinsey (Angela from The Office) and families will participate in a “Disney-inspired cooking competition at Walt Disney World that is positive and playful in tone”.
A statement from Disney described the show. “In each episode, two families will participate in a themed challenge based on their family traditions and the magic of Disney. The finalists will apply what they have learned to create a dish that represents their family through a Disney lens.”
It seems like Disney is working with what it already has, which, is a safe, if unimaginative strategy. But if they are to really take on a cultural phenomenon like Chef’s Table, they had better come up with something big and original. The entertainment giant has signed a deal with Supper Club, the producers behind Chef's Table. So more than likely, something special is in the works.
Is this the start of a digital entertainment streaming platform food fight?