Recently, during a Q&A session at the SVB MoffettNathanson Technology, Media & Telecom Conference, Disney’s Christine McCarthy, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, spoke about how the company is using data from Disney+ to help with the development of attractions and more at the Disney Theme Parks around the world.

We continue to look at the guest experience. we’ve had very, very strong results, and we continue to look at that as a growth business and a business in which we will still continue to invest. And where we will be investing is going to be very consistent with what really makes Disney a unique business in this industry. And that is that we have ways that we can use our intellectual property our franchises, the ones that really resonate with our consumers, and we have more data than we had before on — we know in something previously before we were in the direct-to-consumer business.

Take, for instance, the theatrical films that we released. We could rely on the box office to know whether it did well relative to a comparable film in that genre. Now we have much more rich data because we have box office for those films that do go theatrical, but we also have the consumer data that we get off of primarily Disney+ on how often are people watching it. When they go on, is this a movie that they — or a franchise that they’re going into for the first time that they’re on the service? Do they watch it multiple times?

And that better informs our creatives and our Imagineers to lean into things that we can really exploit in our theme park business where if we know something is truly resonating something that we didn’t have this advantage of that direct consumer data would be something like Frozen.

So Frozen was a few years ago. We had tremendous box office performance. We knew it resonated. We had incredibly strong consumer products coming out of that franchise as well. And you remember, we were always comping against frozen for, I don’t know, three or four years, it seemed. But we have Frozen now that’s in Paris, it’s coming to Paris. It’s — there’s tractions in our domestic parks. And we also will have more Frozen attractions around the globe. Now we base that on what we had at the time. But now with new franchises and strong IP we can also incorporate that consumer data to know how deep it is and in what parts of the world, it’s most significant in.

The use of Disney+ to provide data about what franchises are a success for the company makes total sense, since it not only instantly shows what’s popular with children and families right now, but also provides long-term data for trends.  While measurements from external companies like Nielsen or from box office numbers, do provide useful information.  Disney+ offers much more specific data than television ratings.

One quick look at the trending chart on Disney+ instantly shows how films like “Encanto” and “Moana” have captured the long-term attention of many Disney fans.  Building attractions at theme parks isn’t a cheap thing to do, so making sure they are attached to popular franchises to provide an additional boost in attendance and interest, makes sense.  The data from Disney+ can also give Disney an idea of what other experiences they could provide, such as meet and greet experiences, plus merchandise options.

This isn’t the first time a Disney executive has spoken about how the company is using Disney+ data for its other divisions.  Former CEO Bob Chapek spoke last year about how they would have detailed data about what a subscriber does during their theme park visits and would be able to adjust their Disney+ content and recommendations to fit.   However, if this is ever sometimes implemented into Disney+ remains to be seen, since the current Disney CEO, Bob Iger, closed down the Metaverse division of the company during the recent reorganisation.

Box office results and television ratings have been measuring sticks for decades, but now Disney+ is providing the company with actual real data about what its audience likes and dislikes more than ever before.

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Roger Palmer

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. Email: Twitter: Facebook:

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