It’s been almost two years since Disney Plus made its debut on the streaming scene. Since November 2019 the site has amassed approximately 116 million global subscribers, cementing its place in digital entertainment. But like any company, over time its phenomenal growth has slowed down a little.
Now, Disney CEO Bob Chapek is weighing the pros and cons of implementing an advertising model for Disney Plus. As reported by What’s On Disney Plus, Disney CEO Bob Chapek was recently asked about Hulu’s advertising strategy at the Goldman Sachs 30th Annual Communacopia Conference.
Chapek explained his thoughts during the call with investors hinting that ads could be coming to Disney Plus in the future. “I think what’s driving [Hulu’s strategy] is that combination of great content that draws a lot of eyeballs and draws a lot of interest and a lot of viewership,” he said. “But at the same time, really sophisticated modeling and technology that we have that enables our advertisers to target exactly who they want, when they want and how they want.”
Although Chapek’s answer suggests a desire to optimize Disney Plus in terms of profitable advertising, any major changes seem unlikely to happen very soon. The CEO said he’s really happy with the service’s current model, but noted that the company won’t rule out different opportunities for an increased level of addressable advertising across their platforms in the future.
For subscribers, one of the major advantages of Disney Plus is that it doesn’t have any commercials interrupting their viewing experience. This is in line with other streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime which rely solely on subscriptions for revenue and don’t include commercials. However, several streaming services have been successfully using adverts for a long time. This includes HBO Max, Paramount+, Peacock, and Hulu, which offer ad-free versions at a higher cost.
A mega-corporation like Disney, which has been creating entertainment for decades, wanting to maximize its streaming profit in the smartest way possible isn’t a huge leap. Even if they initially advertised with the multitude of products from their massive catalog of movies, series, toys, cruises, and theme parks, it would be an obvious win.
When Disney Plus first launched, there were doubts about the streamer’s ability to break into an already crowded market. However, Disney found success with its expansive list of existing content, including properties from Marvel, Star Wars, and Pixar. But it was the subscription service’s original programming that has arguably been the biggest success.
Star Wars spin-off, The Mandalorian brought subscribers to Disney Plus as soon as it launched, while the show’s second season brought back folks who temporarily stopped using the service. Other shows set in a galaxy far, far away like The Book of Boba Fett and Ahsoka will probably have a similar effect.
Disney Plus has also been praised for its Marvel Cinematic Universe series, especially WandaVision, which earned Marvel its first-ever Emmy awards. With several more on the way, including Hawkeye, Ms. Marvel, and Moon Knight, Disney Plus is not going to be low on content any time soon. So advertising on the streaming service may be pushed back for a very long time.