After months of buildup, Disney launched its ambitious streaming service in the United States. The service is being lumped in with a number of other streaming offers like Netflix, HBO Max and, for some odd reason, Peacock. But Disney+ is set up to affect the market in a very different way than most other services currently on the market or on the way.
Disney+ caters to some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry, especially the family entertainment side of things. Disney owns Stars Wars, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Pixar, National Geographic and, duh, Disney’s nearly 100-hundred-year-old content library.
[Not all went well in Tuesday’s launch, however. The Associated Press reported that the service suffered some technical difficulties hours after launching at 3 a.m. E.T. on Tuesday. The problems started a little before 7 a.m., according to downdetector.com, a website that tracks outages. It received more than 8,000 reports of difficulties, mostly with video streaming. Others reported problems logging in. The reports peaked around 9 a.m. and had dwindled by 1 p.m.]
[Disney said it was working to resolve the issue after consumer demand exceeded its expectations, said spokeswoman Karen Hobson.]
Name 10 movies you loved growing up. Not all of them are from part of that Disney portfolio, but I bet a bunch of them are. And more so, think of the movies that are a big hit with kids right now.
Sure, the kids don’t pay the bills, but if people want to offer something that provides a great option for their kids, need they look at anything else?
Disney is marketing the heck out of Disney+. Over the weekend during college football games, ABC utilized the bottom of the screen where viewers look to see current scores to advertise the service, it will be marketed at its parks, and you can be sure you will see commercials for its exclusive programming on ABC, on movie screens, on ESPN and all of its apps.
There is not a competing service with that kind of reach. Even Warner Media can’t reach the college and pro football audience with free house ads.
The company has already started a marketing push around the interconnectivity of its TV and movie properties with a note cautioning viewers they will have to watch Disney+ shows to understand future Marvel movies. This is untrue of course. There are websites and YouTube channels dedicated to recapping TV shows and such. Still, it gives people one more incentive to subscribe.
This is a service that people want. The content that Disney is putting together is sought after, and a number of the titles are legendary.
There is a reason that Disney World is the most famous theme park in the world. People pay thousands to be whisked away into a reality built around these movies. Now all they will be asked to spend is $6.99 per month to get all of it at their fingertips.
Think of what that compares to. $6.99 is probably less than some people spend on coffee per day. While columnists whine regularly that the costs of streaming services add up, they ignore the idea that people spend money on all sorts of other non-essential things. And this is a service that offers things that many people really like.
There are a number of other reasons why this will turn out to be a big success. But those listed here are why it will get off to a good start.
Ryan Downey is the executive director and editor of The Streaming Advisor.