One of DC Comics big talking points during this year’s C2E2 was their DC Universe streaming platform. At this point the DC Universe streaming service has been around for about a year and a half. Now Jim Lee and DC Comics announced the next batch of shows that will be showing up on the platform that will join the service during their C2E2 2020 panel. This gave us a clear indication of what route Lee and DC Comics intends to take their streaming platform in the next few months.
When looking at all the shows announced it is clear DC Universe is moving more towards the live-action unscripted route. The Escape From Arkham, DC’s Cosplay Clash, and Cross Country Comic Shop join DC Universe All Star Games as the new set of live-action shows they are adding to their line-up. When looking at this new line-up it is clear that DC Comics is taking inspiration from Geek & Sundry, Rooster Teeth and other online entertainment companies that are more personality driven.
This new slate of shows should gives DC Universe the ability to have more shows premiere on their platform. That has been one of the biggest problems with the DC Universe platform. Up until now they’ve only had one show premiering new episodes weekly. Now they can immediately have multiple shows going at the same time to add to the new seasons of Harley Quinn, Titans, Doom Patrol, Young Justice and Stargirl that are all set to premiere this year.
Now the question about DC Universe’s current plans is if will be enough to compete against all the other streaming platforms? Right now it is tough to say ‘yes’ when you consider that AT&T is going to have Doom Patrol and Titans on their HBOMax streaming service that debuts in May. Not only that but Stargirl, which was originally a DC Universe exclusive show, will now also be airing on CW along with all the Arrowverse shows.
Adding to DC Universe’s problems when it comes to competing against other streaming platforms is the fact they aren’t the exclusive home of DC Comics content. Even with HBOMax still a few months away from releasing we see that the Arrowverse and Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies are on Netflix. That is something out of DC Comics control as that is due to contracts established by AT&T/Warner Bros with Netflix before the DC Universe streaming platform debut.
Disney faced a similar problem. They still don’t have all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Wars movies on their platforms because of previous deals before the launch of Disney+. But for Disney+ they have the massive benefit of having a wide range of content available in their vault and several new shows exclusive to the platform in just the few months it’s been available.
That is not the case for DC Universe. As previously mentioned, since being released DC Universe has had to space out the release schedule of their shows to have new episodes once a week and starting one show when another ends. Now, while their new shows will help add more shows premiering at the same time, it is not enough when you look at how the platform is still lacking a lot of TV shows and movies based on DC Comics properties.
Smallville, the Arrowverse, DC Extended Universe movies, and both the movie and recent TV show based on Watchmen are just somethings that are lacking. Missing these big movies and TV shows is a huge blow considering how much of a draw they all are for mainstream audiences. And there is only so many times someone can watch Young Justice and Batman: The Animated Series, for example. Especially when you have content providers like Netflix, Disney, Amazon, Apple and YouTube all releasing a large amount of new content on top of their respective libraries of movies and TV shows.
I say all this not to be negative about the DC Universe streaming platform. I’ve enjoyed Young Justice: Outsiders, Titans, Doom Patrol and Harley Quinn shows that have premiered on the platform. It is also great to be able to read the entire library of DC Comics comic books in one place. That has been the biggest draw for me as there are still a lot of holes in my knowledge about the DC Universe when it comes to their comic books that I have been able to fill in the last year.
But the reality for the DC Universe is that they still have a long way to go in order to compete with other streaming platforms. HBOMax release in May 2020 will be a big test if the DC Universe platform can survive in its current form. The situation they are in may be out of their hands as AT&T and Warner Brothers will want to have the strongest streaming platform possible to compete against Disney, Netflix, Apple and Amazon. All the content on the DC Universe platform would be great things to make HBOMax even more attractive for DC Comics fans and mainstream audiences to subscribe to. We will just have to just wait and see as the streaming wars intensifies throughout 2020.
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