Years ago, when former Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that they would be releasing their own streaming service, the focus was on creating a family-friendly platform with five core brands.
Since Disney+ launched in 2019, it has become one of the biggest successes in the Walt Disney Companies history. With the pandemic hitting, the new CEO, Bob Chapek, revealed to investors that he was going all-in-on streaming and was going to be heavily investing in more content for the platform.
Earlier this year, Disney+ added a new sixth brand, Star, onto the streaming service in countries worldwide, which featured more general entertainment content from Disney’s other studios like 20th Century Studios, ABC, FX, Searchlight Pictures, ESPN and locally made content. Things would be different in Latin America, where Disney decided to launch a separate service, Star+, which contained the general entertainment content, in addition, to live sports from ESPN. While in the US, because of the existence of Hulu, Disney+ stayed with the same focus as Bob Iger originally intended.
As Disney+ matured, there was growing criticism that Disney+ had become too dependent on Star Wars and Marvel content to keep adults entertained. Leading many shareholders and subscribers to demand more content for everyone be available on Disney+ in the US.
There has been speculation that there were some internal disputes between executives over the future of Disney+, some wanting to add more general entertainment to Disney+ and others wanting it to remain in Bob Iger’s vision.
Recently, Bob Iger took part in an interview with CNBC, at Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland, before he leaves the Walt Disney Company at the end of December.
During that interview, when asked about the problems for Disney+, Bob Iger said:
“I think [Disney Plus] needs more volume/ And there probably needs to be more dimensionality, meaning, basically, more programming or more content for more people, different demographics. But, [CEO Bob Chapek] is aware of that and is addressing those issues.”
Disney is planning on Disney+ hitting between 230 and 260 million subscribers by 2024, with Bob Iger saying on “Squawk on the Street.”
“There’s guidance out there that the company has provided that I’m neither going to update or comment too much on. Obviously, the company has expressed confidence in its ability to achieve the guidance that it has out there.”
Bob Iger states that Bob Chapek is aware of the situation and is addressing it. It certainly ties in with Chapek’s previous comments about Hulu not being ideal and wanting more content on the platform.
Since Comcast still owns 33% of Hulu, there are still some issues that Disney will need to address, before it can streamline its own streaming output. But it does sound like the Disney executives are aware of the problem that Disney+ has in the US. Internationally, the addition of content from Star, with shows like “Dopesick”, “Only Murders In The Building”, and much more, has been proven to increase engagement and reduce churn of subscribers leaving Disney+.
Hopefully, it won’t be too much longer until Disney+ starts getting more content for everyone!
What do you think of Bob Iger’s comments about Disney+?
Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom.