Pre-launch interest for Disney+ surges in UK | Media Analysis | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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A survey by GlobalWebIndex has revealed that the existing high amount of interest for Disney’s new direct-to-consumer streaming service has risen significantly in the lead up to its launch on 24 March.
DIsney 13Nov2019
The study of 2,175 internet users in the UK found that over the past eight months, the number of UK consumers who express they are aware of the new offering has risen by 23 percentage-points to 58%.

At launch in the UK, Disney+ will include content such as the includes the first seven Star Wars movies—available for the first time in this format—along with Hocus Pocus; Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Toy Story 1–3; Lady and the Tramp, a live-action re-telling of the 1955 animated classic; Noelle, an original holiday comedy film starring Anna Kendrick; High School Musical: The Musical: The Series; The World According to Jeff Goldblum docu-series from National Geographic; Marvel’s Hero Project; The Imagineering Story; short-form series Pixar IRL and Disney Family Sundays; and animated short film collections SparkShorts and Forky Asks A Question from Pixar Animation Studios.

Even without the Simpsons, the UK Disney+ at launch will still include The Mandalorian, The Mandalorian, the first-ever live-action Star Wars series and which has broken all download records since being part of the direct-to-service service’s initial bundle. After driving the direct-to-consumer service to an incredible first day on 12 November, then becoming the most requested series in US TV a week later, The Mandalorian became the most in-demand series in the world.

The study found that already 14% of UK consumers have either purchased a one-year subscription to the service or will be subscribing to Disney+ on a monthly basis once it has launched. In terms of popular content on the service, Pixar films (49%) as well as Marvel TV shows and films (47%) were among the most enticing for consumers who have either already subscribed or are thinking about a Disney+ subscription, whereas just 32% state Star Wars content specifically plays a decisive role. However 12% said that they have already streamed The Mandalorian before its official UK release.

GlobalWebIndex also found that just before the launch of Disney+, competition between media streaming services was intensifying with Sky — which announced in early March 2000 that it would bundle the Disney+ service from launch on its Sky Q platform and then on the NOW TV over-the-top offer  — in particular making significant advances.

The study showed that the proportion of UK consumers using Now TV has leapt from 5% in mid-2019 to 14% in March. Nearly a fifth of the sample said that they were now Sky Go customers. That said, almost two-third of respondents were Netflix subscribers and 45% had signed up to Amazon Prime. Yet almost a quarter of consumers were yet to decide whether they will invest in Disney+ as another video-on-demand (VOD) service.

Partnering with existing players could well be a winning formula for operators as the survey showed that with just 7% of TV streamers said they’d be happy to cancel one in favour of Disney’s streaming service. In addition, 29% of TV streamers said they were looking to hold on to all of their subscriptions and simply add Disney+ to their bill. Almost a fifth (20%) of consumers were already paying in excess of £20 per month for their existing VOD subscriptions.

Even piracy problems have been unable to stem the excitement around Disney+, commented Chase Buckle, trends manager at GlobalWebIndex. He added: “The recent global health situation will have many people - particularly families with kids who cannot attend school - considering a package which offers them all the family-friendly content to keep them entertained for lengthy stretches indoors. The recent partnership between Sky and Disney to offer Sky customers access to Disney+ content as part of their package is an interesting development. It could be a key moment in helping both Netflix and Disney+ retain a competitive share in users in the UK, whilst proving lucrative to Sky as the one stop shop for consumers' streaming needs.”