Was Disney + a success?



With millions of Disney + contracts already underwritten, Disney Corporation’s expansion into on-demand media has been an unqualified success


Wednesday July 22, 2020

Disney + is a classic example of an overnight phenomenon that’s been brewing for years.

Surprisingly perhaps, the all-American Walt Disney Company chose the UK to test a streaming service in 2015, under the DisneyLife banner.

Despite relatively low brand awareness and modest subscriber volumes, DisneyLife has demonstrated a demand for Disney content consumed via the Internet.

After investing billions of dollars in streaming tech companies and acquiring key content from 21st Century Fox, Disney began developing an on-demand platform in 2018.

Disney + debuted in America late last year, with its UK rollout in March of this year.

After removing all of its content from other streaming media platforms, Disney + has become the only place to watch a treasure chest of movies dating back to Snow White in 1937.

It is now the exclusive home of the Marvel, Star Wars and Pixar films, as well as their behind-the-scenes TV / Short Films / Animations / Documentaries.

Oddly enough, the platform also hosts all of the content from the National Geographic archives.

The service launched in the UK with much fanfare, and annual Disney + contracts have been reduced to £ 49.99 per year for those wishing to sign up at launch.

(This amount has now increased to £ 59.99 for an annual contract, or £ 71.88 per year if you pay on an ongoing monthly basis).

With the service now four months old, has this latest addition to the streaming media industry managed to carve out its own niche?

Large size model

It’s hard to dispute that Disney + has been a success in the UK.

Having already absorbed existing DisneyLife subscribers, the platform launched the day after Boris Johnson put us all on lockdown.

Without education, work, recreational facilities, and even opportunities to leave home, this arsenal of family content could not have come at a more opportune time.

By strategically removing all of their copyrighted material from all other streaming platforms, Disney + contracts have become the only way to enjoy classic movies and original series.

Almost overnight, Disney + became one of the most downloaded non-gaming apps, receiving five million downloads on the first day of its release in seven European countries.

(It remains unavailable in many European territories, with Scandinavian countries among those expected to receive it on September 15 of this year.)

Nevertheless, its success in Europe replicates that seen in America, where it reached ten million subscribers within one day of its launch.

And in the UK, Disney + quickly grew to become the third-largest streaming video-on-demand service, although it is still a far cry from the duopoly of Netflix and Amazon Prime TV.

According to a biannual Omdia Consumer Research survey, it attracted 4.3 million subscribers within one month of launch.

With prices lower than major competitors, the number of Disney + contracts is likely to have increased significantly by then.

As such, it represents an achievement that other streaming newcomers like Britbox and MUBI can only watch with envy.



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