Disney Plus plans to release more Marvel and Star Wars content, launch in more territories and, potentially, bump up the service’s price in the very near future.
The firm revealed its future plans after confirming over 28.6 million people have signed up to the service since it’s limited launch last year.
According to its CEO, Disney Plus’s “next big priority” is the platform’s European launch, on March 24. This will see the platform become available in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Switzerland and Austria. More European markets will be added in Summer.
Disney’s Chairman and CEO, Robert Iger, said: “I’m pleased to say that as of Monday, we were at 28.6 million paid subscribers… Our growing slate of original content is [of] great interest to our subscribers, especially The Mandalorian, which has quickly become a bonafide hit and a cultural phenomenon.”
Iger went on to give Baby Yoda some of the credit for Disney Plus’s success – he already sounds excited about the merchandising opportunities…
“Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention a certain child in The Mandalorian who has taken the world by storm. I do believe the sensational response to this new character says so much about Disney Plus and our company’s ability to connect with audiences. We know there is great anticipation for the substantial array of Baby Yoda consumer products hitting the market in the coming months.”
Iger was keen to resist the idea that The Mandalorian was the platform’s only real draw, despite his positivity towards it.
Iger said: “65% of the people who watch Mandalorian watch at least 10 other things on the service, so this was not about any one thing. 50% of people who use the service have watched movies for instance. So with that in mind, we feel that validates the collection of those brands and a blend of product that includes obviously the library or legacy TV and films, short-form and long-form, and then original programming.”
There’s plenty more to come from Disney Plus too, especially for Star Wars and Marvel fans. Disney are showing an enthusiasm to build on established IP, in the hope that it will be a more reliable source of viewers.
Iger explained: “We have a few Star Wars series in varying stages of production and development, we have the three Marvel series that were announced and I think there are seven other Marvel series that are in varying stages of development or pre-production. There are a number of Disney originals. We have Disney original movies coming.”
One comment from Iger seemed to suggest a future Disney Plus price increase. However, the CEO was very, very careful with his wording.
Right now, so Iger claims, a price boost is far from the thoughts of Disney execs, but it’s easy to see that the price could increase as the content list grows.
Iger said: “We haven’t had a conversation about price since we launched except that we felt that our pricing strategy has worked. We really are not focused right now on price at all. We believed all along that we would have an opportunity to address pricing as we added more content, particularly original content and the price-value relationship went up to the consumer, but it’s not a priority of ours right now because we’re still very new at this.”
The CEO didn’t mention a price increase outright and even tried to allay fears of one in the future. However, the “opportunity to address pricing” isn’t likely to be a decrease is it…