December 5, 2019
Disney’s high-profile subscription streaming service generated 15 million subscribers in the first five days following its Nov. 12 launch, according to new data from IMA Research.
By comparison, Apple’s branded streaming service has generated 1.1 million subs since its Nov. 2 debut.
Citing respondents from a survey of 1,097 people between Nov. 14 and 17, IMA found awareness of Disney+ extremely strong (63%) compared with 34% for Apple TV+.
Of those aware of the streaming service, 28% reported already subscribing or intending to do so, while 40% said they would utilize a free promotion, including Verizon’s free 12 months of Disney+ service to mobile subscribers.
Nearly half (47%) of respondents thought the $6.99/month to be fair; while 25% found it too expensive. The Disney/Pixar catalog is its most attractive feature to respondents, while 24% of respondents say they would cancel an existing streaming or pay-TV service in favor of Disney+.
Women (68%) were more aware than men (61%). Age played a factor regarding awareness of Disney+, with 70% awareness among 18- to 24-year-olds; 55% awareness among 55-64. Awareness among the oldest respondents (65+) increased to 62%.
Interestingly, almost half (49%) of respondents were not planning to subscribe to Disney+, with 23% not sure. Meanwhile, only 10% of respondents said they intended to subscribe to Apple TV+.
IMA said respondent intent to subscribe to Disney+ translated to about 23 million households. Among those with intent, 69 percent said they had already subscribed, making the early adopters total over 15 million households.
“Our estimate is in line with the 15.5 million sign-ups through the first 13 days of launch reported by Apptopia1, which included some foreign subscribers as well. (Disney reported over 10 million sign-ups by the day after launch2.).
IMA found 40% of respondents seeking to stream Disney+ (or already streaming) would do so through a free promotion; 35% would pay $6.99 monthly; 13% would pay $12.99 for a monthly bundle of Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+; and 12% would pay a reduced annual fee of $69.99 (which was reduced even further as a Cyber Monday promotion).
“If the current and future subscribers break down in this fashion, and we apply it to the 23 million households with intent, they would generate $1.3 billion annually,” Jeff Hoyt with IMA Research wrote.
Hoyt said breaking down intent with actual subscription results in about 15+ million households having already subscribed to Disney+, which equates to $900 million annually.
For Apple TV+, Hoyt contends that if all 1.1 million households are paying $4.99 per month, the projected annual revenue reaches $66 million.
Main attractions to Disney+: 46% selected Disney/Pixar Catalog; 38% selected Marvel/Star Wars/National Geographic Catalog; 26% selected new original content; 25% selected $6.99/month pricing; and 21 percent selected promotions to try the service free.
On the $6.99 price point, IMA found 47% think the price is fair, 17% found it “good” and 11% found it a “great” deal. Another 25% found the price too expensive.
“It is too early to predict whether Disney+ will steal significant market share from existing competitors (i.e Netflix), but 24% of those subscribing or intending to subscribe indicated they would cancel an existing streaming/pay service in exchange for Disney+,” Hoyt wrote.
The analyst contends the best predictor of subscriber intent is a subscription to Hulu, which is owned by Disney and offered in a money-savings bundle with Disney+ and ESPN+.
According to Apptopia1, both Hulu and ESPN have seen downloads increase since the launch of Disney+, with Hulu seeing the biggest boost.
“Even if Disney does steal market share away from its competition, Disney+ appears to be doing a good job so far of not cannibalizing itself,” Hoyt wrote.