August 17, 2020
Disney jumpstarted consumer adoption of its branded SVOD platform Disney+ by offering 12 months of free service to Verizon wireless subscribers. Beginning Aug. 19, Verizon subscribers with either the “Play More Unlimited” or “Get More Unlimited” plan will receive 12 months of free bundled Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu SVOD service.
Disney has been selling the OTT video bundle for $12.99 monthly, with the services costing $19 if purchased separately. Disney ended its most recent fiscal period with 60.5 million Disney+ subs, followed by Hulu with 35.5 million (which includes 3.4 million combined Hulu with Live TV) and 8.5 million for ESPN+.
“The addition of The Disney Bundle to our agreement with Verizon reinforces our commitment to providing their subscribers with access to high-quality entertainment from Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+,” Sean Breen, EVP of platform distribution for Disney, said in a statement. “We are always looking for the most advantageous ways for consumers to experience our content and we are pleased to work with Verizon so that they can provide their customers with these appealing new offers.”
Indeed, co-promotions with established pay-TV operators are seen as key to upstart SVOD platforms getting consumer traction and competing with industry behemoth/pioneer Netflix. Apple TV+ launched with free 12-month service to anyone buying a new Apple hardware product. WarnerMedia is offering free HBO Max service to select AT&T wireless customers, while T-Mobile offers Netflix free to wireless subs — a campaign mirrored by Sprint and Hulu.