As we enter the great streaming war that’s going to kick off at the end of this year and the beginning of next year, it’s going to become harder than ever to keep track of which things each of the five hundred competing streaming services have at a given time. Luckily, in one of its many cruel schemes to own your soul and/or your $7 per month for as long as possible, Disney+ has devised a solution to let you hold on to the things you like forever—even after they’ve left the service. As reported by CNET, Disney+ will let you download titles for offline streaming, as most of these services do, but Disney boss Bob Iger says it’ll let you keep those titles forever (assuming you’re a Disney+ subscriber forever, which Disney is obviously counting on).
By contrast, Netflix puts a specific limit on how long you can “keep” titles you’ve downloaded, and downloads are removed automatically if the thing you’ve downloaded leaves Netflix. Hulu only offers downloads to subscribers on certain plans, and not everything is downloadable, plus you can only keep unwatched downloads for 30 days. Iger makes it sound like there won’t be time limits on Disney+ downloads, as long as you keep an active subscription, saying you could hypothetically “download 10 classic Disney films that may not have all been available at once before” and “basically fill all of your hard drive on one of your devices,” and then you can just watch them whenever.
Interestingly, CNET also points out that some of Disney+’s deals were made before the streaming service’s plans were totally in motion, so it will lose at least a few of the movies it’s starting with in the future (the story specifically says some “popular movies from 2016 through 2018" will leave Disney+ and go back to Netflix “in about six years,” but download whatever those are when you can and it won’t matter).