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Disney Plus’ biggest challenge is keeping adults engaged

Disney Plus’s UK launch day is finally here, with eager streamers across Britain now able to sign up, login and enjoy as much Disney content as they can shake a stick at. Disney is entering an increasingly crowded marketplace with plenty of streaming rivals – we spoke to an expert to get the lowdown on Disney’s chances of success and dominance. 

Daniel Gadher from Ampere Analysis, which specialises in streaming and entertainment intelligence, believes that Disney has timing and a great back catalogue in its favour, but will need to keep an eye on its content mix in order to keep consumers of all ages interested.

Related: Disney Plus vs Netflix

Gadher explained that the huge amount of existing, appealing IP on the platform could be central to its intial success. He told Trusted Reviews: “Disney is able to launch its direct to consumer platform supported by a large back catalogue of well known titles and brands. Disney animated movies, Marvel, Star Wars and its acquired Fox assets [like The Simpsons] give consumers access to a range of globally popular titles which will aid initial uptake.”

The analyst also argued that the social distancing that has been prompted by the ongoing coronavirus outbreak could result in more people signing up.

“The current global situation could help uptake of the platform. With many children at home, and parents working, outdoor activities are impeded but video platforms are in a better position. Kids are still a key demographic for Disney and this will help drive subscriptions as has been seen in the US already,” Gadher said.

A glance at Disney’s catalogue provides further evidence that appealing to children is a central part of the plan for Disney Plus. Gadher argues that it will be important to appeal to all ages though, to guarantee long-term success. After all, the parents ultimately hold the purse strings.

“Disney’s ability to continue to engage consumers long-term will be key to any ongoing success,” said Gadher.

“A varied content mix will be important in attracting a range of audience beyond its core young family groups. Development of titles that appeal to a broad range of viewers will not only aid with customer acquisition but also retention.”

So, Disney has a great back catalogue and an instant appeal for younger viewers. However, more cross-generational titles like The Mandalorian may prove key for Disney Plus to resonate with audiences as large as those of its rivals, Netflix and Amazon.

The back catalogue alone will not necessarily be enough to send Disney straight to the top of the streaming hierarchy.

Related: Here’s the full Disney Plus content list for the UK

“Although Disney has a lot of back catalogue content in terms of overall hours of content it is still behind incumbents Netflix and Amazon. The key battleground for driving consumers to platforms in an ever increasing marketplace, will be original content,” Gadher added.

“Disney has shown its commitment to this with a number of key tent-pole titles and increased investment in this area will help it to compete.”

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