Why one local family cut cable and subscribed to streaming TV

The Disney+ menu.
The Disney+ menu.(NBC15)
Published: Nov. 13, 2019 at 8:52 PM CST
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Are you one of them?

Disney+, the newest streaming service, racked up ten million subscribers Tuesday on its first day of service.

While many people are cutting the cord, the Mauk family in Middleton hasn’t had cable in several years. Between tutoring at the library and dance lessons, the family sat down to try the streaming service for the very first time.

5-year-old Lucy Mauk made time for Princess Elsa. But her mom, Maureen, hoped to pass on her favorite Disney classics.

“There’s so many shows that, my kids, I would love for them to have this experience, and you can’t really find them anywhere else, like 'The Little Mermaid.' They haven't really seen 'The Little Mermaid,'” Maureen said.

Derek Johnson, UW-Madison professor of communications, said that a large wave of audiences began cutting the cord in 2012. He added that the up-front costs for a streaming service like Netflix ($12/month) comes at a bargain compared to cable ($60).

Without cable, Maureen said her family is already subscribed to Hulu, Netflix, HBO and Amazon Prime. She added, "Whether we're saving money or not is debatable."

The family has been subscribed to Disney+ since day one.

“There's a huge marketplace for some really interesting and fun content. At least it has potential to be,” Maureen said.

Johnson said that Disney+ cannot compare to Netflix in quantity of content, but the Disney brand offers specific content for loyal fans.

The professor added that streaming services target parents because kids can watch the same material repeatedly. They are what keep their parents as monthly subscribers.

He said, “Parents are oftentimes looking at their streaming service subscription decisions, not just what TV they want to watch but what their kids want to watch."