Netflix has recently expanded its services to include games within its subscription. This addition aims to enhance value for subscribers in a highly competitive streaming industry. The strategy is intended to boost subscriber numbers and minimize churn rates.
Disney is now exploring similar avenues. They are considering integrating gaming and shopping experiences into Disney+, and opening these features for advertising opportunities. Rita Ferro, the president of Disney Advertising Sales, commented:
“The world of advertising experiences on AVOD is an important place to be involved in.”
Furthermore, Ferro disclosed that Disney plans to unveil its upcoming advertising innovations at the CES conference in Las Vegas, scheduled for January 2024.
Disney+ Advertising Growing
Disney’s introduction of an ad-supported version of Disney+ last year has led to a rapid expansion in their client base. Rita Ferro reports that the number of sponsors has surged from an initial 100 in the U.S. to over 1,000 globally.
Since the onset of 2023, Disney+ has also seen a significant increase in user engagement, with a 35% rise in the time spent on the service. Notably, about half of the new subscribers are opting for the ad-supported version.
On November 1, Disney further broadened its market by launching the ad-supported tier on a global scale. This expansion introduced new pricing options to consumers in 10 additional markets: Canada, the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.
Gaming & Shopping On Disney+?
Many believe that one way to unblock streaming service profitability is shopping. For example, soon, viewers may encounter advertisements for products or services on Disney+ and have the option to sign up or make purchases almost instantly. This streamlined process will substantially enhance the value for advertisers. As a result, Disney will be in a position to charge higher rates for these advertising opportunities.
Disney is already well-versed in the gaming industry, though many of its games are hosted on external platforms such as Apple Arcade, Xbox Game Pass, and PS Plus. Developing games directly for its own platform is a logical next step for Disney. This approach would enhance the value of their subscription service and aid in retaining subscribers, thereby reducing churn.
Disney’s upper hand over Netflix lies in its already established intellectual properties (IP), which ease expansion into gaming on Disney+. For instance, after watching “The Mandalorian” on Disney+, viewers could be encouraged to play a game themed around the show.
The specifics of how and when gaming or shopping will be integrated into Disney+ are yet to be determined. However, it’s certain that Disney will persist in enhancing engagement and value for both consumers and advertisers in 2024 and beyond.
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