Disney+ isn’t the only streaming platform that has experienced subscriber loss, but a comment from CEO Bob Iger might point to why users have left.
Streaming platforms don’t always respond to subscriber loss with self-awareness, but a comment from Disney CEO Bob Iger hints how Disney+ actually lost so many subscribers. Launching in late 2019, Disney+ experienced meteoric success almost instantly, gaining millions of subscribers in a matter of days, due in no small part to original content like The Mandalorian, which was released simultaneously. In addition, Disney+ also offers the lure of Disney’s back catalog of animated classics, as well as access to its other properties, such as Lucasfilm and Star Wars, the MCU, and NatGeo.
In spite of Disney+’s early potential, with it even overtaking Netflix’s top spot, the streaming platform failed to respond to its growth in a way that facilitated keeping users engaged, according to Disney CEO Bob Iger. This has led Disney+ to join fellow streaming services experiencing recent subscriber losses. Though this could spell trouble for the platform, Disney’s response to Disney+’s subscriber loss could potentially be good for the streaming service in the long run.
Disney+’s Massive Subscriber Growth Sabotaged Its Early Era
Although Disney+’s astronomical subscriber growth during its early days is typically considered a good thing, it might have actually sabotaged the company in some ways. According to Disney’s CEO Bob Iger, Disney+ exceeded the company’s expectations, leading to the platform becoming complacent. “One of the things that happened was we got intoxicated by our own sub growth,” said Iger to CBR. As a result, Disney became focused on its current number of subscribers to Disney+ rather than brainstorming how to maintain them with content that is both consistent in rollout pacing and quality.
Disney+’s early original content was incredibly strong, namely its breakout hit The Mandalorian, giving plenty to be excited about for early subscribers. However, because of Disney+’s early emphasis on new subscriber numbers rather than maintaining them, they didn’t develop a plan to keep subscribers around when cornerstone properties weren’t airing like other streaming platforms such as Netflix do. This means that while shows like The Mandalorian or WandaVision defined Disney+’s early era, the platform should have had a lot more iconic content. In this way, the early years of Disney+ were sabotaged by their huge subscriber growth.
Why Disney+’s Subscriber Loss Might Be Good For The Streaming Platform
It seems counterintuitive that Disney+’s recent subscriber loss could be good for the company, but it could be just what the company needs. Disney+ isn’t the only streaming platform experiencing subscriber losses, but they do seem to be one of the few whose response plan is focused on how to best support the consumer’s experience. “…[I]t’s clear to us that we do have to continue to grow subs,” said Iger. “But, it’s not just about that. We have to have the right pricing, the right promotion, we have to have the right marketing, we have to have the right content.”
Based on Iger’s comments, Disney+’s recent subscriber dip seems to be the wake-up call the streaming platform needs. Despite negative feedback about Disney+’s price raises and the streaming platform including ads, Disney+ is now trying to improve their users’ experiences by focusing on providing more quality content over quantity, particularly concerning Star Wars and the MCU. Disney+ is already generating buzz surrounding its upcoming Percy Jackson series, which could prove their plan might be the right step. Although time can only tell if Disney+’s new plan for growth will be successful, the company’s attitude towards their content should leave its users optimistic about the streaming platform’s future.
More: Disney+: Every New Movie & TV Show Coming In February 2023
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