Disney+ surpasses 100 million paid subscribers mark


Disney+ has surpassed 100 million global paid subscribers in just 16 months since its launch, Bob Chapek, chief executive officer, The Walt Disney Company said. During the company’s virtual annual meeting of shareholders, Chapek said the “enormous success” of Disney+ has inspired the team to be even more ambitious, and to significantly increase investment in the development of high-quality content.

“In fact, we set a target of 100+ new titles per year, and this includes Disney Animation, Disney Live Action, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic. Our direct-to-consumer business is the company’s top priority, and our robust pipeline of content will continue to fuel its growth,” Chapek added. The company released several popular movies and TV series since its launch, and also released Disney+ originals such as “The Mandalorian” and its first Marvel series, “WandaVision” which have helped with the sign ups.

Disney+ first launched in the US on 12 November 2019. Subsequently, it has expanded across Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Latin America, and most recently, Singapore. While a spokesperson declined to comment on how much of the subscription growth came from Singapore, it is clear that Singapore is a priority market for the company. In a previous statement given to MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, the company outlined that its marketing investment in Singapore prior to the launch was “unmatched in magnitude, scale and reach” as the brand went all out in its marketing fanfare. Prior to the Disney+ Singapore’s launch on 23 February 2021, campaigns with much fanfare were splashed across TV, radio, OOH and online to maximise its exposure. All of these culminated into a night of performance with artists from the region lending their support.

Given the competitive landscape of streaming platforms, through its Singapore launch, Disney+ had then told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that it wanted consumers to have a clear understanding of its content offering, giving them ample information about the service to make an informed decision about their subscription plans. Currently, Disney+ is the dedicated streaming home for movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic, as well as the new general entertainment content brand in select International markets, Star.

Since its initial launch in 2019, Disney+ has actively been focusing on its direct-to-consumer (DTC) business with Disney+ and a strategic reorganisation was announced last October. This restructure of its media and entertainment businesses saw Disney’s world-class creative engines being asked to focus on developing and producing original content for the company’s streaming services, as well as for legacy platforms. Meanwhile distribution and commercialisation activities were centralised into a single, global Media and Entertainment Distribution organisation.

“Given the incredible success of Disney+ and our plans to accelerate our direct-to-consumer business, we are strategically positioning our company to more effectively support our growth strategy and increase shareholder value,” Chapek had then said. “Managing content creation distinct from distribution will allow us to be more effective and nimble in making the content consumers want most, delivered in the way they prefer to consume it. Our creative teams will concentrate on what they do best—making world-class, franchise-based content—while our newly centralised global distribution team will focus on delivering and monetizing that content in the most optimal way across all platforms, including Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+ and the coming Star international streaming service.”

The new Media and Entertainment Distribution group was also handed the responsibility for all monetisation of content—both distribution and ad sales—and oversees operations of the company’s streaming services. It currently has a sole P&L accountability for Disney’s media and entertainment businesses. Since the restructure, Disney also announced that its advertising sales and the technology teams were working closely together to build what it calls a “highly-advanced and data-informed audience-based ad server” that sits at the center of the Disney Platform. According to a press statement, with this single unified ad platform, advertisers can “maximise yield on their advertising spend”.

In 2021, Disney Advertising Sales anticipates an increase of over 80% in automated revenue and expects programmatic sales to account for up to 50% of Disney’s addressable and linear revenue by 2024. Over the past year, Disney Advertising Sales has seen 1,000 net new clients that were buying across the Disney Platform via programmatic channels. As such, Disney is debuting its latest programmatic advancement called Disney Real-Time Ad Exchange (DRAX).

The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise that includes Disney Parks, Experiences and Products; Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution; and three content groups—Studios, General Entertainment and Sports—focused on developing and producing content for DTC, theatrical and linear platforms.

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