Disney’s CEO Bob Iger was asked during this month’s Investors Financial Call about some of the things they’ve learned from launching Disney+ and if they are planning on making any changes post launch, to which Bob Iger replied:
“Well, I don’t know if you call this a surprise, but certainly it’s a learning because we didn’t know until we launched, but we’ve been heartened by the fact that there has been basically consumption of a broad array of product across all of our brands.
That is not just about original programming or not just about the Disney library, it’s really about everything including original shorts and older shorts and legacy Disney Channel shows and, of course, the library, led by musicals and recent theatrical releases and Mandalorian but it has been very broad based and I mentioned earlier that about — 65% of the people who watch Mandalorian watch at least 10 other things on the service, so this was not about any one thing. 50% of people who use the service have watched movies for instance.
So with that in mind, we feel that validates the collection of those brands and a blend of product that includes obviously the library or legacy TV and films, short-form and long-form, and then original programming. The trajectory in terms of our investment in original programming on the service is roughly the same as it would have been or as it was before we launched. We haven’t really changed that much.
Clearly, the original shows that we decided to invest in led by The Mandalorian have worked and we knew when we launched that we were launching with a modest amount of original programming and that it would build over time. So as we look ahead, we’re really comfortable with volume — a product that we are creating and don’t really feel that there’s much that we have to adjust to right now.
We have just as a for instance, we have a few Star Wars series in varying stages of production and development, we have the three Marvel series that were announced and I think there are seven other Marvel series that are in varying stages of development or pre-production. There are a number of Disney originals. We have Disney original movies coming. Very pleased with them by the way. I know we have a new one coming, Timmy Failure is 100% on Rotten Tomatoes for instance. So we’ve got a I think a great blend and don’t feel a real need to adjust and I think the best thing about it all is that the decision that we made to go with quality and not just volume is working.”
He was also asked by another analyst about how Disney+ consumption patterns, which he replied:
We measured in terms of the, I’ll call it engagement, we’ve measured recency which is essentially how many people used the recently or are active users on a weekly basis. That’s extremely high. We measure frequency, which is the number of times people stream per week since launch and we measure engagement, which is basically how many hours people have streamed on a weekly basis per subscriber and I don’t think we should get into all those details right now, except to say that in all three cases, recency, the percentage of people that — weekly active users, very, very high.
The same thing is true with frequency, the number of average days that they actually use the service and again this is something now we’ve seen over both — basically the first quarter. I think these numbers probably relate to the first quarter and not necessarily since December 28th. That’s also very high and the engagement you’re looking at multiple hours a week streamed per subscriber, I can give you that. Now that’s in the six hours to seven hours a week range, very, very high.
Now Christmas was in there, time when a lot of families were off. That may have actually skewed that a little bit high, but again, we’re seeing consumption, I’ll call it across the board and some of it is quite interesting to us. Pixar has done extremely well as a for instance, including their shorts, musicals are doing very, very well. Obviously, great interest in some of the big titles that have recently come on the service, Toy Story 4 just came on, Rise of Skywalker later in the year, Lion King came on, Avengers, I mentioned Endgame. It’s kind of I guess without in any way sounding like we’re bragging, it validates the concept of putting those brands together and collecting library.
As we look to the rest of the world, there really isn’t anything to cite in terms of encumbrances that would be an issue. We’re in relatively good shape there. I’d say that we have some work to do in terms of local product because there are quotas in certain markets that we have to meet, but the universal appeal of this product is pretty strong. You do have to factor in that in some markets, there’s lower broadband penetration and so you don’t have — the total available market is not as high as it is in other markets. The Netherlands was very high. That’s why we decided to launch there. South Korea is very high, but there are other markets obviously, India being one that you have lower broadband, but huge opportunities for us internationally and that’s where that Disney name and the family nature of the product I think will resonate extremely well.
There are plenty of interesting things mentioned by Bob Iger during this Q&A session, especially with regards to how they are tracking what people are watching and how the Mandalorian might be a big part of why people got into Disney+, but there are other things being watched. All of this data will give Disney a much clearer idea of what’s being watched, by who and how often, something they would never know with cable channels.
How many shows have you watched on Disney+ ?