Two days after Disney announced an increased focus on Disney+, one media research firm is sounding the alarm. Christopher Zara of Fast Company reported on disturbing trends identified by analysts at MoffettNathanson. Perhaps the biggest challenge facing Disney+ and other streaming services is the lack of new content. The COVID-19 pandemic shuttered many studios for months.
Analysts at MoffettNathanson cited numerous bleak metrics. To begin with, the firm found that Disney+ daily viewers dropped to 26%, the second consecutive downward quarter. According to the report, 43% of Netflix users indicated that they are daily viewers.
In August, Disney+ boasted over 60 million subscribers. Hamilton provided a summer bump for the service. In the months since the musical’s premiere, new content has slowed. With the premiere of WandaVision and the second season of The Mandalorian on the way, viewership trends may begin to rebound.
Zara also points out that many Disney+ subscribers joined at no cost. Mobile providers such as Verizon offered free Disney+ subscriptions with device purchases. MoffettNathanson estimates that 18% of Disney+ subscribers come from the Verizon promotion. Worse, less than half of those promotional subscribers plan to renew.
To be fair, other streaming services like Apple TV+ and HBO Max are in the same metaphorical boat.
Will Disney’s pivot to Disney+ pay off, or are these trends a sign of troublesome times to come as the streaming service enters its sophomore year?
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