Parks: Disney+, Apple TV+ See Success in First Six Months of Business

New data from Parks Associates suggests Apple’s foray into the subscription streaming market is stronger than speculated.

Since Apple TV+ launched last November, around the same time as Disney+, it has taken a backseat to the much-ballyhooed SVOD service from the Walt Disney Co.

And, indeed, Disney+ has an enviable 25% adoption rate among U.S. broadband households after just six months in the market, Parks Associates says.

And yet Apple TV+ has reached nearly 10% adoption, according to Parks — not a bad showing, considering how much more hype the Disney platform has received.

Disney+ and Apple TV+ are fourth and fifth, respectively, among SVOD services adopted by consumers.

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Parks’ data was generated from an online survey of more than 10,000 consumers fielded between March 8 and April 3 to heads of broadband households, after the COVID-19 crisis had begun in the United States.

Additional data from the market snapshot:

  • Nearly three in 10 broadband households report their use of online video services has increased because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • 81% of Disney+ subscribers subscribe to Netflix, as do 72% of Apple TV+ subscribers. Nearly one-half of Disney+ subscribers canceled another OTT service over the last 12 months, as did roughly two-thirds of Apple TV+ subscribers.

“Disney took a broad-based content approach to its Disney+ service, including its Pixar, Stars Wars, Marvel, Nat Geo and 20th Century Fox properties to make it broadly appealing, far beyond its traditional audience of families with young children,” research director Steve Nason said in a statement. “Very few Disney+ subscribers subscribe only to this service, so households are not picking up Disney in place of another service but adding to their home’s other OTT services. We will see, as household budgets tighten up, if Disney+ has done enough to become an ‘essential service’ for its subscribers.”

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The Dallas-based research group said Disney+ also benefited from promotions such as the introduction of the $9.99 Disney+/Hulu/ESPN+ bundle and its partnership with Verizon where unlimited mobile subscribers and new internet subscribers get a free year of the service.

“Apple TV+ promoted a small stable of original programming and is now looking to supplement that with more third-party content,” Nason said. “Apple TV+’s growth is due largely to a free year of service for those who recently purchased an Apple device, which brings the firm’s brand loyalists into the service. Apple TV+ does have a higher percentage of exclusive non-Netflix subscribers, plus a higher number of households that recently cancelled another OTT service, so it appears Apple does have a core group of dedicated subscribers. Apple’s challenge is to expand beyond that group.”

‘Stranger Things’ Tops Parrot’s Digital Originals Demand Chart for Week Ended May 30

Netflix’s “Stranger Things” remained No. 1 on Parrot Analytics’ digital originals rankings the week ended May 30.

“Stranger Things” had 59.4 times more demand in the United States than the average TV show in the market based on average daily Demand Expressions, the proprietary metric used by Parrot Analytics to measure demand for TV content. Demand for the show was down 4.4% from the previous week.

The Disney+ animated series “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” stayed at No. 2 for a second week. It was 51 times more in-demand over the average, with demand for the show down 17.6%.

Another Disney+ “Star Wars” spinoff series, the live-action “The Mandalorian,” remained No. 3 with 47.4 times average demand. The show dropped 10.5% in demand.

A “digital original” is Parrot’s term for a multi-episode series in which the most recent season was first made available on a streaming platform such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu or Disney+.

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The superhero series “Titans,” a chart mainstay from the DC Universe streaming service, rose to No. 4, drawing 40.3 times the average demand, while demand for the show was up 0.8%.

The DC Universe animated series “Harley Quinn” dropped a spot to No. 5 with 38.3 times the demand, down 6.2% in demand from the previous week.

The AppleTV+ series “Defending Jacob,” the streaming upstart’s most successful original series in terms of demand according to Parrot, rose three spots to No. 6, with 33 times demand for the average show. Demand was up 9.9% after the season finale debuted May 29.

The top overall TV series was Adult Swim’s “Rick and Morty” with 86.6 times average demand. “Stranger Things” was No. 6 on the overall TV list.

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Media Play News has teamed with Parrot Analytics to provide readers with a weekly top 10 of the most popular digital original TV series in the United States, based on the firm’s proprietary metric called Demand Expressions, which measures demand for TV content in a given market through a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites. Results are expressed as a comparison with the average demand for a TV show of any kind in the market.

Comscore: Streaming Services’ Share of Streaming Hours Surged During Pandemic

Engagement with streaming services surged in the beginning of May 2020 as Americans adjusted to stay-at-home orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new research from Comscore.

Among the “big five” streaming services — which still account for upwards of 80% of total hours streamed at home — Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ saw growth in share of streaming hours in the week of May 11 versus the week of Feb. 3, according to Comscore.

Netflix’s and Amazon’s streaming hour share each grew 1.5% while Disney+’s grew 0.5%. YouTube’s was steady, down just 0.1%. Hulu’s was the only share to fall, down 2.9%.

While Disney+ held a smaller share of streaming hours among the “big five,” it is nearly two times larger than the next video-oriented OTT app offering in terms of streaming hours, according to Comscore.

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Other key points included:

  • Average in-home data consumption was up 33% during the first 10 days of May 2020 compared to the first ten days of May 2019 (May 1-10, 2020 versus May 1-10, 2019). This follows 28% and 36% year-over-year increases in March and April 2020, respectively. Smart TVs (+60 percent), mobile phones (+47 percent), streaming boxes/sticks (+39 percent), and smart speakers (+35 percent) are driving the year-over-year growth trends.
  • In-home data usage remained strong through the week of April 20, 2020 but began to decline in recent weeks, possibly due to some states easing their social distancing protocols.

Disney+ Signs Up 2 Million Aussies in 4 Months

Disney’s subscription streaming video platform launched in Australia and New Zealand on Nov. 19, 2019 — one week after its North American debut. New data from research group Roy Morgan finds Disney+ has attracted 2 million Aussies after four months. By comparison, Netflix took six months to generate 2 million subs after launching down under in 2015.

Disney+ is ahead of Amazon Prime Video with 1.6 million (up 1 million) and YouTube Premium at 1.47 million (up 161,000).

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Regardless, Netflix has extended its SVOD lead with 12.59 million Australians having access, an increase of more than 1 million. It is followed by Foxtel (including Kayo Sports) with an increase of 63,000 (4.87 million and 953,000 for Stan (3.72 million).

The relatively small sub increase for Foxtel is largely due to the strong performance of their sports-centric streaming service Kayo Sports, which attracted 704,000 viewers by March 2020, up by 530,000 on a year ago.

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When it comes to multiple subscription television services, Netflix plus Stan is the most popular combination with over 3.4 million Australians having access to both just ahead of Netflix plus Foxtel (3.1 million).

“The growth of subscription television services in Australia sped up in March as the nation entered a period of lockdown [due to COVID-19],” Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine said in a statement.

Levine said that in March, more than 1 million Australians gained access to a SVOD service in their household. That compared with 893,000 SVOD additions in February.

“The increasing growth in the overall market has been predicted by many as Australians have been confined to their homes over the last two months and these results are the first to back up that prediction,” Levine said.

She contends that OTT video is growing due to the fact that different members of the same household are now able to have their own subscriptions to different services. Of Disney’s 2 million SVOD viewers, a large majority of 1.67 million (83%) subscribe to Netflix and 897,000 (45%) watch Stan.

“Foxtel’s launch next week of a new cut-price streaming service to go head-to-head against Netflix, Stan and Disney Plus does raise the risk of cannibalizing Foxtel’s existing revenue streams, but also sets Foxtel up take a share of the growing market of consumers increasingly gravitating towards low-cost services that offer extensive and deep catalogs,” Levine said.

‘Stranger Things’ Back Over ‘Star Wars’ on Parrot’s Digital Originals Demand Chart

Netflix’s “Stranger Things” returned to the top spot on Parrot Analytics’ digital originals rankings the week ended May 23.

A “digital original” is Parrot’s term for a multi-episode series in which the most recent season was first made available on a streaming platform such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu or Disney+.

“Stranger Things,” which was No. 3 the previous week, had 61 times more demand in the United States than the average TV show in the market based on average daily Demand Expressions, the proprietary metric used by Parrot Analytics to measure demand for TV content. Parrot changed its charts to reflect the relative demand metric in a given week, rather than the objective raw expressions number.

The previous week’s most in-demand digital original, the Disney+ animated series “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” slid to No. 2 after four weeks in the top spot. It was 60.7 times more in-demand over the average.

Another Disney+ “Star Wars” spinoff series, the live-action “The Mandalorian,” slipped to No. 3 with 51.9 times average demand.

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The DC Universe animated series “Harley Quinn” rose two spots to No. 4 with 40 times the demand.

The superhero series “Titans,” a chart mainstay from the DC Universe streaming service, dropped to No. 5, drawing 39.3 times the average demand.

The biggest leap onto the top 10 was Netflix’s “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power,” climbing to No. 10 from No. 28 the previous week. It had 29.2 times average demand.

The top overall TV series was Nickelodeon’s “SpongeBob SquarePants” with 86.3 times average demand. “Stranger Things” was No. 6 on the overall TV list.

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Media Play News has teamed with Parrot Analytics to provide readers with a weekly top 10 of the most popular digital original TV series in the United States, based on the firm’s proprietary metric called Demand Expressions, which measures demand for TV content in a given market through a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites. Results are expressed as a comparison with the average demand for a TV show of any kind in the market.

New ‘Muppets’ Series to Debut on Disney+ July 31

The new series “Muppets Now” will debut on Disney+ July 31.

The six-episode series, the first from the Muppets Studio for Disney+, will feature Scooter rushing to make his delivery deadlines and upload the brand-new Muppet series for streaming.

He’ll need to navigate whatever obstacles, distractions, and complications the rest of the Muppet gang throws at him.

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Report: Global SVOD Subs to Top 776 Million by 2025

As expected, the coronavirus lockdown has jumpstarted consumer adoption of over-the-top video services such as Netflix, Disney+, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.

New data from Rethink Technology Research (RTR) finds that COVID-19 lockdowns generated a 8.9% boost to the SVOD market, which he says will reach $72.3 billion in revenue and 775.8 million subscribers by 2025.

“When measured against our historic projections, we believe that the lockdowns will result in an 8.7% increase in subscriptions, and a 7.9% increase in revenue in 2020,” the research group wrote in a note.

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As Netflix’s first-quarter results revealed, the worldwide SVOD market is expected to be positively impacted by the COVID-19, as consumers turn to SVOD services to fill increased viewing hours. As a result, the launch of Disney+ could not have come at “a more opportune time,” despite the virus’ negative impact on the rest of Disney’s business units.

Disney+ is projected to pass Prime Video and further narrow the gap with Netflix by 2025. RTR contends SVOD remains the “nail in the coffin” for traditional pay-TV.

“It is hard to see how viewers with two or more SVOD services can ever return to the conventional pay-TV model,” read the note. “The three streaming providers have … the biggest opportunity to rip market share from the pay TV market … and their projected success means they will fundamentally alter the viewing habits of hundreds of millions of households.”

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RTR believes once kids are locked into a SVOD library such as Disney’s, parents will be reluctant to cancel the service and others.

“When the subscription prices are this low, SVOD services become very sticky offerings,” read the report.

Disney Names Rebecca Campbell Chairman of Direct-to-Consumer & International

With the departure of Kevin Mayer to TikTok, Disney CEO Bob Chapek has named longtime colleague Rebecca Campbell chairman of the media giant’s Direct-to-Consumer & International business unit. Separately, Josh D’Amaro has been named chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.

In her new role, Campbell will help launch flagship subscription streaming platform Disney+ in Japan, with further bows planned in Latin America and Eastern Europe.

Josh D’Amaro

“Our company is very fortunate to have a deep bench of talent and we’re extremely pleased to welcome these two exceptionally qualified Disney veterans to our senior management team,” Chapek said in a statement. “Both Josh and Rebecca have more than two decades of leadership experience with the company, a keen understanding of our brands and businesses, and a shared passion and vision for delivering extraordinary entertainment and one-of-a-kind experiences.”

A 23-year Disney executive, Campbell since 2017 has worked closely with Chapek as president of Disney Resort, including Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. Before that, Campbell led the Magical Kingdom’s European, Middle East and Africa operations.

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Since launching last November, Disney+ has generated more than 54 million subscriptions.

D’Amaro, who most recently served as president of Walt Disney World Resort, succeeds Chapek as chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. In his new role, D’Amaro will attempt to jumpstart Disney’s shuttered travel and leisure businesses, which include six theme park-resort destinations in the United States, Europe and Asia; a cruise line; a vacation ownership program; and a guided family adventure business.

Walt Disney World Orlando is re-opening retail center Disney Springs on May 21 — 10 days after the re-opening of Shanghai Disneyland and Disneytown in China.

Disney Streaming Boss Kevin Mayer Jumps to China’s TikTok as CEO

In a surprise move, Kevin Mayer, chairman of Disney’s direct-to-consumer & International unit, is leaving to become COO of the corporate parent of Chinese-owned social media platform TikTok, effective June 1.

Mayer, who has spent 25 years at Disney, will report directly to Yiming Zhang, founder/CEO of ByteDance. He will be charged with driving the global development at ByteDance, as well as overseeing corporate functions, including corporate development, sales, marketing, public affairs, security, moderation, and legal.

In his role as COO, Mayer will lead music, gaming, Helo, emerging businesses, and will also serve as CEO of TikTok, leading the rapidly growing platform as it continues to build its global community of creators, users, and brands.

“Kevin’s wealth of experience building successful global businesses makes him an outstanding fit for our mission of inspiring creativity for users globally,” Zhang said in a statement.

As chairman of Disney’s revamped home entertainment unit, consumer products and international business, Mayer oversaw rollout of Disney+, the company’s flagship subscription streaming video service. Additionally, Mayer led the company’s other direct-to-consumer businesses, including Hulu, ESPN+, and India’s Hotstar, as well as overseeing Disney’s international operations, global ad sales, and global content sales.

“Like everyone else, I’ve been impressed watching [ByteDance] build something incredibly rare in TikTok — a creative, positive online global community,” Mayer said.

The executive said he is grateful to Bob Iger for his visionary leadership and mentorship over many years, and Bob Chapek, whom Mayer said he greatly admires.

Alex Zhu, the current president of TikTok, will transition to ByteDance VP of product and strategy, where he will focus on his primary passion overseeing strategy and product design.

Kelly Zhang and Lidong Zhang will continue to lead the business as CEO and Chairman of ByteDance China, respectively, reporting to Yiming Zhang, as ByteDance’s global CEO. They manage a range of products, including Douyin, Toutiao, and Xigua, in addition to their duties leading the business and operational teams in China.

In the management restructuring, TikTok said its national and regional management leaders would remain in their roles with their current responsibilities, reporting to Mayer.

‘Star Wars’ Digital Originals Remain Most In Demand on Parrot Analytics Chart

The Disney+ animated series “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” remained No. 1 on Parrot Analytics’ digital originals rankings the week ended May 16, its fourth-consecutive week in the top spot.

A “digital original” is Parrot’s term for a multi-episode series in which the most recent season was first made available on a streaming platform such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu or Disney+.

“The Clone Wars,” which concluded its seventh and final season on Disney+ May 4, registered 84.9 million average daily Demand Expressions, the proprietary metric used by Parrot Analytics to measure global demand for TV content, down 39.3% from the previous week.

Another Disney+ “Star Wars” spinoff series, the live-action “The Mandalorian,” held onto the No. 2 spot on the digital originals list with 64 million expressions, a 2.8% increase from the previous week when news broke that Temuera Morrison would be returning to play Boba Fett. The latest reports have Katee Sackhoff playing the live-action version of her Bo-Katan character, a Mandalorian leader she previously voiced on “The Clone Wars” and “Star Wars: Rebels.”

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Netflix’s “Stranger Things” stayed at No. 3 on the digital originals chart, up 6.2% from the previous week to 61.5 million expressions.

The superhero series “Titans,” a chart mainstay from the DC Universe streaming service, ticked up a spot to take No. 4 for the week with 43 million expressions, up 4.9% from the previous week.

Netflix’s “Outer Banks” climbed to No. 5, with demand up 6.2% from the previous week to 41.5 million expressions. Demand for the teen drama has been steadily rising since the show’s April 15 premiere, though Parrot Analytics announced that quality control issues involving the show’s demand data prevented it from being reported on the charts previously.

Netflix’s “Lucifer” had the biggest jump into the top 10, placing 10th from No. 18 the previous week as the fourth season arrived on DVD and Blu-ray May 12. Expressions were up 18.9% to 30.6 million.

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The Demand Expressions metric draws from a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites.

Media Play News has teamed with Parrot Analytics to provide readers with a weekly top 10 of the most popular digital original TV series in the United States, based on the firm’s  proprietary metric called Demand Expressions, which measures global demand for TV content through a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites.