Disney+ Subscribers Say They're Watching More Classic Films Than 'Star Wars'

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Courtesy of Photofest; Courtesy of Disney+; Courtesy of Disney; Courtesy of FOX

Meanwhile, Pixar content is the most "frequently" viewed, a new customer survey finds.

Since its Nov. 12 launch, streaming platform Disney+ has racked up at least 10 million sign-ups through a combination of promotional partners (Verizon customers get it free for a year) and an aggressive marketing push for the $7 monthly service throughout the Disney corporate empire. 

Like Netflix, Disney won't regularly disclose viewership data for its content, which totals more than 500 movies and 7,500 TV episodes at launch. Disney also hasn't shared any one-off viewership metrics for any of its launch titles, like Star Wars spinoff series The Mandalorian or its live-action remake of Lady and the Tramp.

Now, a new survey of Disney+ subscribers suggests that the most-viewed content category on the platform isn't new originals but its library of vault classics like The Lion King and Mary Poppins

Roughly 22 percent of Disney+ subscribers among all age groups say they watch classics the most on the platform, topping those who cite Star Wars (21 percent), Marvel (15 percent), Pixar (14 percent), Disney Channel (9 percent), The Simpsons (5 percent), National Geographic (3 percent) or Disney+ originals like Christmas movie Noelle (2 percent) as their top viewing choice, a Hollywood Reporter/Morning Consult poll finds. 

Among the Millennial subscriber group (ages 23-38) about 25 percent of respondents cited Disney classics as their most viewed category, as opposed to Star Wars (19 percent), Marvel (14 percent) or Pixar (13 percent).

Subscribers in the Generation Z group (ages 18-22) were most likely to cite Disney Channel content (like Lizzie McGuire) or Pixar titles as their most viewed. And Star Wars was the most watched category cited by Disney+ subscribers in the Gen X (39-54) age group as well as the Boomer (55-79) group.

The THR/Morning Consult survey — conducted among 496 Disney+ subscribers in the U.S. from Dec. 3 to 4 — also suggests that Pixar-branded content, like Toy Story and Coco, is the most "frequently" watched content category. (Unlike Netflix, which releases its TV series in a binge model of all episodes in a season at once, Disney+ is releasing new content on a weekly basis for its series.) 

Across all ages, 38 percent of Disney+ subscribers said they frequently watched Pixar content, more than Disney classics (37 percent), Star Wars (33 percent), Marvel (32 percent), National Geographic (17 percent), Disney Channel (18 percent), The Simpsons (16 percent) or Disney+ originals (14 percent). 

(The lower number of subscribers citing Disney+ originals as their most watched could perhaps be tied to the quantity of the offerings. Only 10 original movies, specials or TV series were made available at launch, a number that Disney+ expects to grow to 45 in the upcoming year.)

Meanwhile, across all age groups The Simpsons was cited by 37 percent of Disney+ subscribers as a category that they "never" viewed, which likely reflects the expectation that the popular, long-running Fox property — which spans 30 seasons — marks a different type of brand than other content types on the platform. 

A version of this story first appeared in the Dec. 13 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.