An episode that references the Tiananmen Square massacre is left out of the recently launched Disney+ streaming lineup.
Disney next year will spend nearly twice as much on content as Netflix did in 2021.
Disney and Netflix are very different companies, with very different investor bases, but they’re head-to-head competitors in the streaming wars. And on Friday, Netflix’s market valuation climbed above Disney’s for the first time in about a year — ironically, coming on “Disney Plus Day,” the Mouse House’s company-wide marketing event designed to punch up excitement and subscriber signups for the streamer.
The Walt Disney Co. has enlisted just about every part of the company for Disney Plus Day — which is actually a weeklong series of promotions, events and content premieres. It’s ultimately aimed, of course, at driving up paying subscribers for the global streaming service. Among the deals: Starting today (Nov. 8) through Sunday, Nov. 14, new and eligible returning Disney+ subscribers can get one month of the service for $1.99 (available in the U.S. and select countries). After the first month, the service goes back to the regular price ($7.99/month in the U.S.).
MoffettNathanson says bundling Disney+, Hulu could attract older viewers, while Barclays points to more and better content
Walt Disney’s stock received a rare Wall Street downgrade on Monday, as Barclays called for bold changes from the media giant to reverse slowing growth at its Disney+ streaming service.
Disney+ will surpass Netflix in global subscriptions in 2025, forecasts the latest subscription-video-on-demand (SVOD) update from Digital TV Research. The report projects that Disney+ will add 140 million subscription subscribers between 2021 and 2026, to bring its total to 284 million. Netflix is forecast to add 53 million subs, to reach 271 million by 2026.
Ayo Davis has been named president of Disney Branded Television today by Peter Rice, Chairman Disney General Entertainment (DGE), to whom she will report. Davis takes on the creative and operational leadership of the content group at a time it is expanding its development and production of Disney branded programming for the company’s streaming service Disney+ and linear networks. (Image: Disney Enterprises, Inc./Craig Sjodin)
Shares in Disney fall 4.2% after CEO Bob Chapek says streaming service faced headwinds in quarter.
Marsh will launch his own production company, backed by Disney General Entertainment. His multiyear production deal will see him develop content for Disney’s streaming and linear platforms. (Image courtesy Disney Enterprises, Inc./Richard Harbaugh)
With trading volume at three times normal levels, Disney shares were at $182.14, their highest point in nearly a month. Broader indices were largely flat.
Hulu had a total of 42.8 million subscribers, up from 41.6 million in the second quarter. Its Hulu Plus Live TV vMVPD lost 100,000 subscribers and finished the quarter with 3.7 million customers.
“The response towards Disney+ across Asia Pacific has exceeded our expectations, as consumers seek diverse entertainment content and are drawn to our portfolio of brands and franchises,” said Luke Kang, president, The Walt Disney Company Asia Pacific. “We are pleased with the subscriber growth and partnerships forged in markets, and look forward to engaging with more consumers across the region.”
Competing economic incentives are leading NBCUniversal, Disney and WarnerMedia to make difficult decisions about how to program their streaming services. The tension between how to balance streaming video, theatrical release and linear TV is leading to some peculiar choices bound to confuse consumers in what’s becoming an increasingly jumbled landscape.
New data shows Netflix, long the king of streaming, is losing attention as subscribers shift to competitors like Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video. Above, Disney got a boost in attention to its streaming service from The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, a series based on the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Disney is closing in on a massive $22 million-per-year deal that would keep the Country Music Association Awards on ABC while bringing in its streaming services to support the awards show as broadcast ratings decline. The new agreement carries a license fee of at least $22 million a year for a multiyear contract, according to two individuals familiar with the deal, which was possible because Disney could draw on funding from Hulu and Disney+ in addition to ABC. As part of the new deal, Hulu and Disney+ are expected to feature additional shoulder programming around the annual event, which is held every November.
NBCUniversal and ViacomCBS may eventually find themselves on the outside looking in as the subscription streaming video industry continues to grow. That’s according to MoffettNathanson analyst Michael Nathanson, who kicked off The StreamTV Show with a forward-looking assessment of which major streamers have the best chance at future success. Assuming that both the Amazon-MGM and Discovery-WarnerMedia deals go through in 2022, he said that the clear winners will be Netflix, Disney, Amazon and Warner Bros. Discovery while AMC Networks will have success, albeit on a more niche level.
Madison Avenue’s interest in digital ads, sports and new concepts tied to bolstering messages of diversity helped Disney close a fast-paced upfront that saw more than 40% of total dollars committed to the company go to streaming and interactive venues, the latest sign of how advertisers are working differently with some of the nation’s most traditional media companies. “We led with streaming this year. You always hear how broadcast leads in the upfront, and we saw an opportunity this year to change that and we did it well,” said Rita Ferro, president of Disney Advertising Sales.
At least three of the nation’s big media companies are writing deals in an upfront ad-sales market that is moving more rapidly than in years past. Disney, NBCUniversal and Fox have all begun to sell advance advertising commitments as part of TV’s annual upfront market, according to five people familiar with the pace of negotiations. These people expect the volume of advertising dollars in support of traditional linear TV to rise by 2% to 6%, with other money being committed to new streaming venues.
With Walt Disney Co. theme park operations limited due to the coronavirus pandemic, investors watching the company report earnings on Thursday are expected to zero in on its fast growth into streaming TV. During the January to March quarter, the Disney+ streaming service was aided by box office heavyweight Marvel Studios. The producer of blockbuster superhero films released its first TV series, WandaVision, in January followed by The Falcon and the Winter Soldier in late March.
While the streaming wars have added many competitive services to Netflix, the end result of media’s shift to streaming may cement Netflix as the center of household entertainment. Since the day Disney+ launched, Netflix shares have risen more than 87%. That dwarfs gains by every other media company during the same time period.
Amping up its cross-platform data efforts, Disney Advertising Sales held a recent new industry event — Disney Platform Tech Showcase — to highlight its new single unified advertising effort. “This new way of doing business will be optimizable in real-time through our programmatic offerings,” said Lisa Valentino, EVP of client solutions/addressable enablement at Disney Advertising Sales .
Digital TV Research says quickening Hotstar uptake in India convinced it to boost its earlier Disney Plus forecast by nearly 100,000 subscribers.
Disney’s net income fell sharply in its most-recent quarter, as the coronavirus pandemic still weighs heavily on many of its businesses, from theme parks to movies. But results surpassed Wall Street’s expectations thanks to subscribers flocking to Disney+ and other of the entertainment giant’s streaming services.
Lucasfilm, the producers of Disney+’s flagship series, The Mandalorian, have parted ways with original cast member Gina Carano, who plays Rebel shock trooper-turned-New Republic marshal Cara Dune on the Star Wars spinoff. Formerly a mixed martial artist, Carano has been under fire from many fans for quite a while now, due to problematic things she has said/opinions she has supported across social media.
As promised, Disney has begun selling a version of its Disney+ bundle that includes ESPN+ and ad-free Hulu. The bundle costs $18.99 per month, approximately $6 less than paying for each service individually. The company still sells a $12.99 per month bundle that include Hulu with ads. Presumably, the $18.99 per month price will last for only about two months before Disney+ price increases take effect in late March.
Disney and Pixar’s Soul was the most viewed streaming title during the week of Christmas, topping other Netflix original shows and films and even the juggernaut The Office in its final full week on Netflix before moving to Peacock.
Disney veteran Rick Strauss, one of the key executives that launched Disney+, is leaving the company after nine years. Rebecca Campbell, Disney’s chairman of direct-to-consumer and international, made the announcement internally, with Strauss also sharing the news with his staff.
Disney’s flagship streaming service, Disney+, and its established sibling Hulu lead the list of streamers in total TV advertising impressions in 2020, according to ad tracking firm iSpot.
Disney threw down the gauntlet to its competitors last week, with a slate of remarkable programming on Disney+ alongside some eye-popping subscriber numbers and forecasts. If Disney wants to achieve its forecast of hitting profitability in fiscal 2024, it has to raise prices. It said it will do that in March. And, after that, it’ll likely have to do it again. And it’s not just Disney that is raising prices.
The entertainment titan’s ambitious new subscriber targets could put it past the streaming pioneer.