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The U.S. launch of new streaming service Disney+ is more than five months away, but American customers are already chomping at the bit.
A new survey by research group Ampere Analysis, shown exclusively to The Hollywood Reporter, found that customer awareness of the new platform was high and that a significant portion of the U.S. audience is eager to subscribe to Disney’s upcoming subscription VOD service, which will launch stateside on Nov. 12.
Of the more than 1,000 people surveyed, just over a fifth (22 percent) said they were likely or highly likely to subscribe to Disney+. But that figure jumps among two key Disney demographics: 18-24 year-olds and households with children. And 34 percent of 18-24 year-old respondents said they intended to subscribe to Disney+, while 36 percent of households with children (a group nearly twice the size of the 18-24 year-old demo) agreed. Ampere noted that there is very little crossover between these two demographics, so they represent a cumulative audience potential for Disney.
“This is highly significant, given that Disney has not even begun their direct-to-consumer marketing campaign for the platform,” Minal Modha, consumer research lead at Ampere Analysis, told THR. “That they have reached this level of awareness and demand already is quite encouraging.”
The demographic most eager to sign up to Disney+, however, is not households with children, but those living with friends. On average, 37 percent of those households said they were likely to subscribe when the SVOD service becomes available.
Ampere also noted that a further 20 percent of respondents are on the fence with respect to subscribing to Disney+, an audience the studio may be able to win over once it begins its marketing campaign in earnest.
Disney also seems to have got its pricing right. Potential customers who said they intended to subscribe to Disney+ told Ampere they were ready to pay the $6.99 per month (or $69.99 per year) the studio has set as its subscriber fee. “They haven’t priced anyone out,” Modha said.
Interestingly, the average respondent cited Disney’s film catalog — particularly the Marvel universe films and Disney and Pixar’s animated titles — as the most valuable content on the new platform. Disney is investing in several original series for Disney+ — including Marvel Universe-set Falcon & Winter Soldier and Loki, starring Tom Hiddleston, and The Mandalorian, set in the Star Wars Universe. So far, however, it appears the Disney’s film library — which will be exclusive to Disney+ in the U.S. after the studio pulls its movies from Netflix from 2020 — is the new service’s unique selling point.
Netflix, however, need not worry that Disney will cannibalize its subscriber base, Ampere found. The majority of respondents who said they planned to subscribe already have a SVOD service and see Disney+ as a complementary, not replacement, source of content.
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