Disney+ Will Transform Disney, Marginalize Netflix And Redefine Streaming Relevance
An entertainment company becoming a tech company is transformative. A $6.99 monthly streaming subscription rate is game changing (and a dagger to Netflix’s just announced price increase to $13/month). Bringing the libraries of Disney, Walt Disney Studios, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, 20th Century Fox, BlueSky and Searchlight all under one roof, exclusively, is mind blowing for both our children and the child within every one of us.
With Disney+, the only place now to see “Captain Marvel” and the new “Avengers: Endgame” this Fall, as well as “Frozen 2” next summer, will be Disney+. Marvel will have four different live-action series featuring Scarlet Witch and Vision, Loki, Bucky Barnes (the Winter Soldier), Sam Wilson (Falcon) and Hawkeye. Pixar will produce a number of shorts for the subscription service, featuring characters like Forky and Bo Peep from the “Toy Story” films. It will also have a series based in the world of “Monster’s Inc.” called “Monsters at Work.” All 30 seasons of “The Simpsons” will be available on day one, along with nearly all the “Star Wars” movies. Speaking of “Star Wars,” a new live-action series called “The Mandalorian,” set in the “Star Wars” universe and created by Jon Favreau (“Iron Man”), will cost an estimated $100 million to make and is already be compared to a small series “Game of Thrones.”
In addition, at launch, Disney+ will include 7,500 episodes of current and off-air TV shows (welcome back “Hannah Montana” and “High School Musical”); 25 original series and 10 original movies and specials; 400 library movie titles; and 100 recent theatrical films release, according to Agnes Chu, senior VP of content, Disney+. The possibility of bundling Disney+ with Hulu and ESPN+ is on the table at launch, forcing the question of “Do I need basic cable anymore?” Take that Oprah, Reese and Apple!!
On Thursday, at Investor Day when Bob Iger proclaimed: “Today’s presentation will show you where we’re going, but also remind you that we are starting from a position of strength and optimism.” That could have been one of the great understatements of the year…in a year full of hubris and hyperbole!
When you look at this Disney transformation, especially one that is so digitally centered, in order to drive future growth, they must:
1. Create a new North Star for Disney+ everyone can align around
2. Leverage existing assets and operating systems and quickly build/acquire what is required to succeed
3. Understand and continuously look to meet and disrupt every part of the user experience
4. Continue to innovate content/programming, the experience and overall quality every single day
5. Test, learn, fail fast and then scale (which Disney has done since 2015 in the U.K.)
6. Equip the team to win and the culture to thrive given this new environment
Interestingly, these last three may be the most challenging for Disney as they are infamous at taking unapologetic delays in launching new attractions, new theatrical releases and new offerings until they live up to their own standards (think “Star Wars” and Pixar delays). In the fast-paced world of streaming, a significant pivot will have to take place at Disney+ to meet consumers where they are at today, relative to how Netflix has conditioned us all. In addition, Disney’s brand stands for “creating magical moments” and the need to go big, bold and seamless on day one needs to be, in short, perfect and magical.
That being said, a new streaming service targeting families, superhero fanatics and kids is set up for success almost immediately. Personally, for the Davis household, Prime is out, network and basic cable will be next (following my kid’s leads) and the countdown to Loki getting his own series is on. With Disney+, Disney has only added to its reputation as one of the most relevant brands on the planet, once again!
This content was originally published here.