As quoted once by Walt Disney himself,
"We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."
One such new door has been knocked down by Walt Disney Studios. Shaking the digital industry and royally striding into the streaming bandwagon, alongside its established competitors like Netflix, Hulu, and Prime is Walt Disney Studios’s Disney+.
With its streaming service now boldly taking the digital world by storm, Disney finally gets ready to wield and circulate its very own personalized, not so magical, wand.
Started just recently on 12th November 2019, Disney+ has already made its way to become one of the top streaming services of the year, as established by multiple official media portals. As per data collected from the CNET media website, the service garnered over 10 million subscribers on the first day of launch itself.
So what exactly is Disney + and why the hype surrounding it?
Disney+ is a subscription-based, ad-free, streaming video service owned by Disney. It offers an entire collection of TV shows and movies that can be viewed across an extensive range of devices at any time. The app is currently available in the U.S, Australia, Canada, Netherlands as well as New Zealand. It is scheduled to launch in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Germany, Spain, and Italy on March 31, 2020.
Disney is proclaiming a collection of more than 7500 episodes and films from their productions within the first year. The app is also devised to be the exclusive abode for Pixar, Star Wars and the glorious Marvel franchise alongside Disney’s own studio, which is its biggest trump card, giving it an edge over its fellow streaming services.
It also hosts a treasure of Disney related movies as well as TV series. The legendary classic tales like Cinderella, Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs and Beauty and the Beast are included, as are modern-day features like Descendants. The app is also featuring the evergreen classic titles like Sound of Music and Mary Poppins.
Yet Disney Plus isn’t just resurfacing old productions from its vault but also churning out new content with it’s already established and beloved characters or productions. For instance, in the case of live-action, the musical series of the widely adored and cherished High School Musical was featured on Disney Plus.
Alongside it’s existing shows, Disney Plus also promises the launch of several series which are part of the MCU’s Phase 4 which include “Loki'' as well as “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier”. Yet another card up the service’s sleeve is featuring Star Wars’ first live-action series “The Mandalorian” which has also proved to be a major asset in persuading its target audience.
Hence the entire business model of Disney is largely aligned towards transporting its viewer into the lands which define our childhoods. Disney heavily banks on nostalgia, which has always been it’s most dependable magic potion. The nostalgia surrounding its evergreen classics is the weapon Disney wields to make the audience watch its productions and the same has helped sell Disney Plus.
Pricing Strategy of Disney Plus
From the consumer’s perspective investing in yet another streaming service can prove to be a real headache especially when one takes their high prices into consideration. Yet, to everyone’s astonishment, Disney Plus has started out at a…. yep, a pretty economical price rate surprisingly.
The service will cost you merely $6.99 per month and $70 for a full year in the U.S. Alongside, it is also offering other feasible deals, for instance, a bundle that gets you Disney Plus, Hulu and ESPN for just $12.99 per month, saving you almost $14 on an average if you avail these services individually.
In Australia and Canada, you get access to the service at $8.99 per month and in New Zealand, you can bag it at $9.99.
Meanwhile in the Netherlands, Disney Plus allows you to get your hands on the service at the rate of $6.99 per month.
Thus opting for this economical pricing strategy has definitely managed to get the odds of maximum users trying out for Disney Plus fairly high.
Comparison of the Pricing strategy of various streaming services in the U.S.
Appraising the scope of Disney Plus
Being presently confined to just a handful of territories has done nothing to halt the popularity of Disney Plus so far. From low price packages to a high streaming resolution to an assemblage stacked with a blend of the nostalgic old and the power-packed new, Disney Plus has managed to hit the nail in the head for several considerable aspects.
Here are a few aspects that give Disney Plus an edge over its competitors, while at the same time, the same aspects could also prove to be a bane in its present popularity.
1. Streaming is now the future of Television
As we consistently shift towards a more digitalized world, the market for streaming services has been flourishing at a steady rate. With the market for online streaming now soaring and services like Netflix (read case study about Netflix here), Prime and Hulu coming more in demand, Disney Plus could not possibly have been launched at a better time. The present market for streaming gives Disney Plus an easy advantage and massive demand.
At the same time, the limited availability of the service across the globe could prove to be a major hindrance to its growing demand. The delay in the service being made available in the other major territories around the globe could turn out to be a major slip up, especially with hyped shows like High School Musical’s series and The Mandalorian, in which people are desperate to watch while they are in public demand globally.
2. Straightforward pricing
Unlike the complicated multi-level pricing system practiced by services like Netflix with it’s basic, standard and premium plans or Hulu’s ad-supported plans, Disney’s straightforward pricing method seems comparatively easier and more simple.
It offers a single plan for each service which also incorporates a 7-day free trial, 4K HDR streaming in it along with mobile downloads and at the same time allowing 4 logged in devices to view it simultaneously. This can definitely give it an edge over its competitors.
Yet unlike Prime and Netflix which offer a massive range of content at their prices, Disney has very limited titles currently and will take considerable time to create a sizable collection. While in the short run Disney Plus’s low-cost pricing could enhance its demand it’s difficult to guarantee it being able to do so in the long run.
3. 4K HDR Streaming
While all the service’s content is not available in 4K resolution yet, the available portion is accessible at no extra cost. Starting its advent with the original Star Wars trilogy, several modern animated films like Frozen and Moana and also including some of the evergreen classics like Aladdin and The Little Mermaid and with the upcoming new Marvel and Pixar titles lined up, the future of the 4K resolution looks very promising for the service.
Meanwhile, Apple limits some of its premium features like vision picture to Apple products and only some selective features are available for non-Apple devices. While Netflix does include 4K HDR but only in it’s most expensive subscription level of $15.99 per month.
4. Exclusive Content
One obvious and apparent edge Disney holds over its competitor services is the exclusivity of its content. While Netflix and Amazon Prime have only recently started producing their own original series and films to boost their brand value, Disney is already a pro in the content creation arena with tons of production experience and the more exclusive content it will churn out the more audience it will easily attract if it’s affordable price rates, established brand name and HD streaming quality doesn’t do the job.
At the same time, the limited genres of its existing franchises, with their similar cultures and endless sequels and installments could also end up boring the audience and lead to a severe lack of diversification across the content market.
“Times and conditions change so rapidly that we must keep our aim constantly focused on the future.” - Walt Disney
The future of television is online streaming. And with Disney Plus, the Walt Disney Company has already proven that it’s here for it. Disney is constantly evolving its content and channels to stay relevant. The advent of Disney Plus has confirmed the belief of a shift towards a more digitalized world where streaming holds more power than cable television.
This article analyses the present potential as well as the future scope of Disney Plus. For more blogs on Analytics, Do read Analytics Steps!