Let’s say The Mandalorian lasts 4 seasons. Who is going to subscribe to Disney+ solely because of The Mandalorian after that? If they want to get more money out of that show, the only way is to make it available on physical media. If they do that, do you really think they would lose subscriptions at that point with 37 new shows coming up already?
That’s the point though, they keep adding new content to keep it going, but let’s say someone hates the new show but still loves Mando: they’re more likely to keep D+ (especially if there’s one other thing they’re curious about it enjoy) if there’s nowhere else to get it.
That continued subscription then encourages those people to watch other shows, since they’re already paying for it, etc. It keeps their content being talked about which keeps drawing in new subscribers. That’s how they make the real money, without having to pay for production of physical media. They get a larger percentage of more sales.
Hmm, so far no streaming service has managed to stop piracy. It doesn’t necessarily matter how difficult they make it for an individual to rip content, since as long as there’s some scene group somewhere who successfully works around their protection, the resulting files get shared just as readily as they would have if they had come from a traditional physical source. It’s those piracy “end-users” I was referring to as getting the better deal - as it currently stands, they can just visit some site and get a permanent .mkv of the latest Mando episode within hours of airing. Meanwhile here in the UK we didn’t even start to get the first season of Mando until after the entire season finished in the US, which I’m still salty about…
If they do eventually start hiding some kind of unremovable trace of the identity of the user who rips the episode, it just begins an endless whack-a-mole for them.
There’s also the fanediting angle. I know Fanedit.org refuses to allow fanedits for anything without a physical release, but elsewhere there’s a lot of ROTS x TCW Siege of Mandalore edits, even though the Siege of Mandalore doesn’t have a physical release yet. Those faneditors could be buying and ripping their own discs if Disney would make that an option.
It’s still fewer people making the original rip, which means fewer people to track down to have the content removed from.
Localisation is a whole other thing. I too wish release dates were universal, but there’s a lot more to that. There are other contracts in place between media companies and governments that simply make it complicated. Even now, Disney+ and AppleTV+ are risking becoming unavailable in the EU because not enough of their content is produced there.
Disney isn’t exactly supportive of fan editing, at least not the people who are in charge of those decisions… none of whom are at LFL, it’s out of their jurisdiction. It’s a distribution call, and the entire company just restructured the entire way they do business to focus on DTC.
And at the end of the day, streaming has made the amount of piracy that takes place go down. Some people still do it, and always will, but far more people pay for streaming services continuously than buy physical media. It’s more profit with less risk and less cost.