DC Entertainment revealed a majority of the details regarding its upcoming streaming service DC Universe earlier this week. The first issue with the service is the name. It's generic. The DC Universe also references the main canon of the comic book universe, a toy-line, a role-playing game, and the video game DC Universe Online. We get that the service is going to try to encompass everything DC has to offer, but there's a lot of other names out there the company could use. Maybe "Dan Didio's Last Attempt At Relevancy" or "The Fire Dan Didio Streaming Service."
DC has announced five TV shows that the service will eventually have: Titans, Doom Patrol, Swamp Thing, Young Justice: Outsiders, and Harley Quinn. Only one of these original programs is going to be available at the launch and that's Titans. Other comparable services (Netflix, Hulu) have hundreds of original programs. Young Justice: Outsiders was announced in November 2016, three years after the cancellation of the original series. When it was announced, it was supposed to release in 2018, but DC has pushed it back to 2019.
DC Universe will have a library of movies including 1990's The Flash, Christopher Reeves' Superman films, and Constantine. Notably absent are the inclusion of the DCEU films, including Man of Steel, Batman v. Superman, Wonder Woman, Suicide Squad, and Justice League. But then again, perhaps they're doing us a favor here. Bolstering the library will be DC's deep catalog of TV series including Teen Titans, Batman: The Animated Series, and Static Shock. But will these be enough to keep people subscribed?
In 2016, The CW, home to the various Arrowverse series, announced a multi-year deal that allows Netflix to remain the exclusive US subscription television service for previous seasons of series broadcast on The CW. This deal harms any hope of getting the Arrowverse on DC Universe in the near future.
Marvel Unlimited contains 20,000+ comics for only $9.99 a month. DC Universe will have a curated "digital longbox" of comics selected by DC. The curated comics will also rotate based on relation to the TV shows on the service. If we can't trust them to put out good titles, can we trust them to pick the few gems they have?
The biggest hurdle for DC Universe, besides being US-exclusive, is the price. DC hasn't announced a price point yet for the service, but that'll be make or break for it.
There's already more established streaming services available for consumers (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, HBO, Playstation, DirecTV, Sling TV, CBS All Access, Fubo, Starz). There's already a better digital comics platform (Marvel Unlimited). They don't have access to the most popular mainstream DC shows (The Arrowverse). What is DC Universe going to do to separate it from the glut of other services and keep people coming back?