The Downfall of DC Universe: Why DC’s Streaming Service Failed
On September 5, 2018, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Digital Networks launched its highly anticipated streaming service DC Universe. On the service, the viewer would be allowed to read many of the digital comic books provided by DC, watch several of its popular animated shows such as Batman: The Animated Series, Young Justice and Teen Titans, and tune into several of its new and original programming created for the service including Titans, Doom Patrol, DC Daily, Swamp Thing, Harley Quinn and Stargirl. Many of these original shows had a much higher budget than other superhero shows that aired on regular networks like The CW, and received acclaim from both critics and audiences.
Even though DC Universe’s content proved to be successful, its streaming service has run into several major challenges. The main problem is that not as many people have signed up for DC Universe compared to other streaming services such as Netflix, HBO Go and Disney+. One reason for this happening is that DC Universe is currently only available to people who live in the United States. Much of DC Universe’s content is offered on HBO Max in other countries. Another reason for DC Universe’s lack of success is that the service launched during a time in which many people were unhappy with DC’s movies and television shows due to their poor quality and critical failures.
The flaws of DC Universe became apparent when Swamp Thing, one of its original shows was canceled immediately after its series premiere, while DC Daily was canceled after two seasons in July. DC Universe’s future came into question once again when Stargirl was announced to exclusively air on The CW after its first season. Not long after this announcement, the rest of DC Universe’s original content was announced to be moving to and exclusively airing on HBO Max. It has not been officially announced yet on if DC Universe will shut down. However, the odds do not look high for DC’s ambitious streaming service.