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Thought leadership

Interesting story in this week’s newsletter sending a shiver through the (until now at least) Netflix dominated global TV streaming sector. Sign-ups for Disney’s new streaming service have shot past expectations, as audiences respond to the offering of Star Wars, cartoons and other classics. Walt Disney said about 28.6 million people had signed up for Disney+ since it started last November.

The on-demand video service is Disney’s attempt to challenge industry leader Netflix, which has 170m subscribers. Disney boss Bob Iger called the launch “enormously successful”. Disney+ now has almost as many subscribers as the firm’s earlier on-demand streaming service Hulu, which was founded in 2007 and offers shows from US television.

Disney announced in 2017 that it would create its own streaming service, aiming to combat the declining audiences for its traditional business as viewers move online. Shortly after, it announced a deal to buy the bulk of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox entertainment empire, as it looked to bulk up its catalogue to compete.

“I’m enormously proud of what we have accomplished in a relatively short period of time and believe we are well positioned to not only withstand the disruptive forces… but to thrive,” Mr Iger said.

Most of the current subscribers come from the US and about half signed up directly through the website, Iger said. He attributed part of the appeal to Disney’s “very accessible” price. International expansion of Disney+ is the firm’s next priority, he added. The UK launch is due next month.

This will be one of many topics discussed at our upcoming 2020 CX Marketing Summit in June. Look forward to seeing you at this must attend event.

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