Everyone’s favorite rodent has been killing it in the streaming wars. Ole Mickey and friends are dominating the OTT game with recent title releases like “WandaVision” and “Falcon and The Winter Soldier.” Other companies such as HBO and Netflix continue to churn out quality content for their devoted followers but are not seeing subscriber numbers like The Mouse Empire. One must stop and wonder: how is audience engagement of this content so quickly surpassing that of the competition? Well to put it simply-they are showing the money! Disney+ is taking the sitcom-esque storytelling style and turning it up to 11. It’s obvious they spared no expense on the production quality and writers can expand certain character arcs and hash out supporting storylines without runtime or other limitations of feature film. This helps explain how, in just 18 months, the new streaming platform has accrued 100 million subscribers. Disney figured out the magical formula and it’s going to cost us.
Paul Tassi brilliantly explains the price hike for Disney+ of $6.99 a month to $7.99 a month (or $69.99 for the year to $79.99 annually). He elaborates that no one should be surprised by this given the recent influx of new titles. Mickey knows his subscribers will pay to see Han Solo reunite with Chewbacca and watch Tony Stark say “I’m Iron Man.” Tassi discusses how Disney is in a good spot right now considering they are one of the most inexpensive streaming services. He cleverly compares this initial price increase to “the frog slowly boiling in water” where at first the pot is on low, but it can bubble into a deadly figure that will eventually make your wallet scream in pain.
Disney is considered by many to be the “Happiest Place on Earth.” However, it can be a financial challenge for parents. Between trips to Disneyland, Halloween costumes, or the never-ending supply of toys and merchandise, Disney has got marketing nicely covered. Extending that reach, the Mouse King scampered his way into parent’s pockets to keep their little rascals glued to the TV, hypnotized by classic movies and shows from their vault. And let’s not forget about the other demographic subscribing to its service-the Star Wars and Marvel nerds who flock to Disney+ for shows like “The Mandalorian” and “Falcon and Winter Soldier.”
Mickey was astute in his foray into big budget productions like “The Mandalorian” which is two seasons in and a megahit for the platform. “WandaVision” was so hot that is caused the platform to crash and most recently, “Falcon and The Winter Soldier” has broken records since its premiere. And there are a slew of other Star Wars and Marvel shows still in production. So, it’s safe to say-Disney+ is here to stay. They have solidified themselves as a streaming kingpin, compelling parents, and fans alike to hit that subscribe button.
Other streaming platforms should be taking notes. According to Tassi, Disney+ is ramping up production and kicking its original content creation into high gear. Disney will soon be releasing new Star Wars or Marvel content every other week. In five weeks “Falcon and Winter Soldier” will have its season finale and right around the corner is “Loki.” Season 3 of “The Mandalorian” is scheduled to drop around Christmas this year. Tassi suggests that “things are going to move quickly now, and you’ll have to pay a tiny bit more to stick around.” I’m sure subsequent years will bring additional price increases. It’s funny how quickly Disney+ has managed to climb to the top of the streaming business heap and sit pretty alongside Netflix and HBO. When all is said and done, I’m sure many people will not find the price hikes amusing. One thing is clear, the Mouse King is taking their laughs to the bank.