The Potential of the DC Universe

Announced back in April 2017, the DC Universe (formerly known as the DC Digital Service) is a joint venture between Warner Bros and DC Entertainment, marking a major step into the digital distribution market for Warner Bros. The ambitious DC-branded direct-to-consumer service was launched recently, with TITANS – a live-action show focusing on the extremely popular DC super-group known as the Teen Titans – set to be its first platform-exclusive show. TITANS will be followed by the revival of the fan favorite series YOUNG JUSTICE.

The third season (officially titled YOUNG JUSTICE: OUTSIDERS) was to be released along with TITANS in 2018, however it has now been pushed back to January 2019 (which is still a relatively short wait time considering how long fans had been petitioning for the revival of the show). DC Universe has also green-lit four additional shows: Doom Patrol, Swamp Thing, Stargirl, and an animated show revolving around the popular villain Harley Quinn.

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The interface for the DC Universe app highlighting the comic and TV streaming features

Announced along with the six original shows were plans to implement a digital comic streaming feature, and a back catalogue of DC movies and TV shows. So expect to see Christopher Reeve’s Superman films, Christopher Nolan’s Batman films, Batman: The Animated Series, Teen Titans, and many more available to stream!

With all of these features announced I think that the DC Universe has a great chance to thrive and be financially successful in it’s first year of launch, especially with TITANS premiering tomorrow (Oct. 12). However for the streaming service/app to maintain (and increase) it’s subscriber count I believe it must eventually add more features. Listed below are four ideas that I believe could help make the DC Universe even more unique, and potentially as successful as other streaming giants like Amazon Prime and Netflix.


1. MUSIC STREAMING

I believe that the DC Universe should eventually implement a music streaming feature, allowing users to stream high-quality DC film and TV soundtracks. Something like this would instantly make the service much more distinguishable from other streaming services that focus solely on film and TV streaming. Imagine if you were able to open up the DC Universe and stream Rupert Gregson-Williams’s WONDER WOMAN soundtrack whilst also reading Greg Rucka’s Wonder Woman run? Sounds like heaven, right?


2. ONLINE GAMING

This is perhaps the most ambitious idea on this list, however it isn’t completely outside the realms of possibility. If the DC Universe were truly looking to make themselves stand out in the streaming landscape, adding the ability to stream games would make them unrivaled. There would definitely be a rise in subscribers for the service if customers were not only able to read the latest Batman issue from Tom King, but were also able to stream and play Batman: Arkham Asylum on their PC, straight from the DC Universe app/site.

Now as I mentioned before this isn’t completely impossible for the streaming service, which is evident as during the DC Universe livestream on Aug. 29, Kevin Smith answered a fan question revolving around gaming on the service. Although Smith couldn’t give a direct answer, he teased that something was eventually going to be revealed regarding gaming on the DC Universe, definitely promising in my opinion!


3. THE DCEU (DC EXTENDED UNIVERSE)

To truly make the DC Universe a “universe” like the name suggests, I think that they should do their best to try and connect some (not all) of their content to the DCEU. This could be something as basic as streaming the prelude comics, to something more complicated such as actually creating shows that exist within the current DCEU. Both options could work, however I’m favouring more towards the latter option. Similarly to what Disney has recently announced with their streaming service, the DC Universe could create shows with the intention of them existing within the DCEU, such as Blue Beetle, Batgirl, Doctor Fate etc.


4. ORIGINAL FEATURE-LENGTH CONTENT

In my opinion original feature-length content is the most likely to happen out of the four ideas that I’ve listed. I have quite a few ideas for what WB/DC could create if they were to ever make feature-length content for the streaming service:

  • Original feature-length documentaries – Similar to what Netflix is doing, I believe that the DC Universe could benefit greatly from some feature-length documentaries. An example could be one that explores an iconic writer/artist who has worked/is working for DC Comics. A documentary on the iconic Alex Ross is long overdue!
  • Original feature-length films – Although it’s unlikely to happen considering that WB/DC could just create and distribute the films in theatres, I’d still like to see some original live-action films created exclusively for the streaming service. Making films for characters that don’t require massive visual effects budgets such as Red Hood, Arsenal, Huntress, Katana etc. could be the way forward for the DC Universe when it comes to live-action films. DC is also well known for their great animated features, something that should be continued via DC Universe. They have a chance to continue the tradition and create some amazing animated features revolving around a variety of characters.

If the DC Universe were to eventually implement all of the ideas I’ve listed above, I could see the service being extremely lucrative, and it would truly provide an unparalleled experience for customers and fans. The DC Universe is available to purchase and use right now (US only, for the time being), and TITANS debuts tomorrow! (Oct. 12).