Disney+ Moves Ahead, But The Real Marketing Plan Is The Price

Word-of-mouth entertainment marketing — by way of business stories — seems to be helping Walt Disney’s upcoming new Disney+ streaming premium TV service, set to launch November 12.

A recent survey from UBS says nearly 80% of respondents had heard of Disney+, with nearly 70% saying they would likely add Disney+ without eliminating any of their current video services.

Netflix, Hulu and Amazon might be breathing some relief.

UBS also estimates Disney+ is trending ahead of company internal initial forecasts of 20 million to 30 million U.S. subscribers by 2024.

Of course, you need to deliver. That said, Disney makes few missteps when launching entertainment products and services.

Disney+ came up with one easy consumer lure in offering a bundle of three services — Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ — for $12.99 per month. 



So if consumers are really just looking at replacing Netflix and its $12.99 plan, that’s an easy decision. Alone, Disney+ will cost $6.99 a month — almost half of what most Netflix U.S. subscribers pay.

What’s the marketing plan? In large part, I just mentioned a key piece.

True, Disney has been upfront that it won’t — at the outset — have the volume of TV and movies that Netflix has. Still, that $6.99 price tag looks good.

And factor in this: On Wednesday, Hulu revealed for new subscribers (or those that haven’t subscribed to the service in a year) that there would be an initial six-month price tag of an eye-opening $2.99/month for its ad-supported service.

With a total of $10 a month for two services (Disney+ and Hulu ), consumers won’t need much of a push, especially when they also have an easy off-ramp in leaving any of these streaming services. As is common practice among all OTT services, consumers can cancel any time.

If that alone doesn’t make sense for Disney, consider — as this column has said before — that Walt Disney probably has the strongest corporate entertainment brand recognizability name for consumers versus its rivals. 

So it should be an interesting Thanksgiving and Christmas period for all premium streaming video business executives.

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