UPDATE August 20th: The Canadian list has the Extra listed on September 1st. But it seems like a very odd mistake to make and not correct before sending out the press release so we may still be correct. Read on.
The press release went out yesterday with Disney’s September additions and one particular thing stood out as odd. As always we’ll be doing our monthly library breakdown stats and chart as well as monthly snubs in the next couple days, but until then let’s try to figure something out. Why is there a title listed on Thursday, September 2nd?
History of Disney+ Monthly Schedules
Since launch Disney+ has struggled to remain consistent with how and when it adds content. Literally every other streaming service does a decent drop on the 1st of the month and then adds additional titles throughout the month whenever they please. About 8 months into the service Disney stopped doing the 1st of the month drops because of how little content they were adding month to month. Doing so left most of the month empty and people complained. Obviously we hoped they’d just double the amount they were adding and keep the monthly “content drops” but instead they pushed everything to Fridays.
That went well for about a year but as originals ramped up Disney did an experiment with Loki (2021) by sticking it on Wednesdays. It went well. They quickly moved all series to Wednesdays to give them room to breathe. It’s a bit odd at first, but it actually feels like the right decision! All series on Wednesdays, all films on Fridays.
This new, consistent schedule has a lot of benefits for Disney although a common criticism is that it exposes JUST how shallow the pool of films they draw from really is. For example, this Friday sees the addition of… Eragon (2006). One title. Yikes. And it’s a title that had previously been streaming on accident a few months ago. We’re actually to blame – they promoted it coming in the summer campaign and our EiC reached out to them asking why they were promoting a title that had already been streaming for 2 months. Mere hours later it was removed. Oops.
Back to the “shallow pool” of available films. It’s almost as if they are sitting on ~400ish made-for-tv films, free of pre-existing contracts vintage films from the 50s-80s, and their Touchstone and Hollywood Pictures PG-13 library… Almost. Many hope this new schedule leads to them noticing this themselves and putting a much bigger focus on their missing classic films… but that seems highly unlikely.
Extras on Thursdays?
Now that you know the history of Disney’s monthly schedule changes we can bring up the oddity in September. September 2nd is a Thursday, but they are adding “Behind The Scenes of Growing Up Animal.” It doesn’t take a genius to figure out this sounds like an Extra as opposed to the “making of” documentaries of which Disney is also quite fond.
Disney remains the only service that promotes their extras as if they are “new titles.” They did this 2 weeks ago with “Introduction to Us Again.” It’s super weird to a lot of people they promote a 1 minute clip in their monthly press releases and videos. As others have said – by not listing it separately as its own title it doesn’t even show up as “NEW” and nobody knows they added it. It’s just hidden away under a tab that says EXTRAS. This process has backfired and led to people accusing them of using “filler” each month to pad their press releases. There is an argument that extras should be added the same day as the title.
Assuming that we are correct and the upcoming Thursday title is indeed an extra and they do indeed plan to use Thursdays as “Extra day” I DO support the idea. Once it’s clear they are an extra and people understand Thursdays are only extras, viewership may actually rise! Not only that, but there will be less frustration by people at the later realization something they were excited for was a 30-second clip that is already streaming on YouTube. Because that HAS happened before too.
What do you think? Are we right on the money? Will Disney ever officially announce Extras on Thursdays or just start doing it? Do you watch the Extras on Disney+?