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Future of TV Media Disney

Disney+ leads US brand awareness and subscriber race for new video streaming services


By John McCarthy, Opinion Editor

October 30, 2019 | 4 min read

Disney+ is leading subscription intent and brand awareness in the US, when compared to rival, soon-to-launch services from Apple, WarnerMedia and NBC, according to recently released research from Hub.


Disney+ leads incoming video streaming services for brand awareness and purchase intent

The firm polled 2,016 US consumers in August 2019 about their likelihood to subscribe to some of the incoming TV streaming offerings, and it is clear that Disney currently stands head and shoulders above others.

The study focused on Disney+ and Apple TV+, which will launch in November 2019, and packages HBO Max and NBC’s Peacock that hit the market early in 2020.

After hearing the costing ($12.99 monthly with Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+), one quarter of respondents said they have — or will — sign up for Disney+ which includes a vast back catalog, bolstered by the Marvel and Star Wars cinematic universes. Another 9% were less certain and said they’d ‘probably’ subscribe.

Only 6% were ‘definitely’ in on Apple (10% probably), with intent even lower yet at the remaining two services, largely due to pricing and content libraries still being unclear.

On the brand awareness side, six in 10 have heard of Disney+, a fifth of Netflix subscribers are considering adopting a Disney+ membership too. Half know Apple+. As they are earlier in their marketing drives, only a quarter of respondents had heard of HBO Max and slightly less of NBC’s Peacock.

And then there’s a clear Disney advantage among 16-34 year-olds, with almost a third saying they have or will sign up. Four out of ten respondents with children said they would likely subscribe.

But what is causing the most apprehension among existing services – two-thirds said they would likely drop an existing package to supplement Disney and co when they come to market.

Peter Fondulas, principal at Hub, said: “The platforms most likely to survive the new service onslaught are those that offer popular shows that one can’t watch anywhere else, and that make it easy to discover those can’t-miss shows.

“Our other research has shown that when it comes to TV subscriptions, many consumers are at zero-sum status — anything new they add will be at the expense of something they have currently.”

With HBO Max just outlining its content plan yesterday (Tuesday 29 October) the August research has aged, but it still provides a snapshot of what we probably already suspected – that Disney stands to lead the charge among consumers.

Nonetheless, WarnerMedia projects the global user base of HBO Max to reach between 75 million to 90 million by 2025. It will have 10,000 hours of programming at launch.

Globally, work needs to be done to drive awareness of these services. A UK study from July 2019 found that 65% of people in the UK are unaware Disney+ will be coming to market (albeit after the US launch).

With it just teasing the likes of Star Wars show The Mandalorian in competition with the HBO Max announcement, awareness is likely on the rise.

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