Ever since the last Walt Disney quarterly financial results in early November, Wall Street and investors have been vocal about how Disney+ hasn’t been able to maintain its growth in the United States and the lack of content aimed at older viewers is one aspect they’d want to see improved on.
While Disney+ continues to grow its subscribers by launching in more countries, for example, in November, Disney+ launched in Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea, with more countries set to get Disney+ in 2022. But internationally, Disney+ offers much more variety, since it has a sixth brand called Star, which contains shows and movies from Disney’s studios like 20th Century, FX, ABC and Searchlight.
Variety has recently had Whip Media conduct a survey of its U.S. TV Time app users and discovered that while content output isn’t perceived as a shortcoming for Disney+, there is an appetite for more adult-centric content and integration with Hulu.
Disney+ subscribers grew rapidly in the United States when it launched in late 2019, and it’s had some huge success with shows like “The Mandalorian”, “Loki” and “WandaVision”, but in between those releases, many older Disney+ subscribers find there isn’t much to interest them into coming back to the app.
According to the survey of 696 app users, nearly 53% of survey respondents felt that Disney+ has enough content to keep them entertained daily. However, over 20% of survey respondents said that Disney+ didn’t have something for them to watch daily.
Whip Media’s data is also showing that slightly over 63% of survey respondents agree with the notion that they’d watch Disney+ more often if it offered more content targeted at adults.
Disney has a wide selection of content aimed at older audiences on Hulu. According to the survey, over 50% of survey respondents said that they’d watch Disney+ more if it included free access to Hulu originals like “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Solar Opposites”.
Of course, this means that just under half of Disney+ subscribers don’t want mature content on Disney+. Many parents say they like Disney+ to be completely kid-friendly, so they don’t have to worry about what their kids are watching.
But ahead of the launch of Star internationally on Disney+ in February, the app added new parental controls to limit access for selected content, but up until now, Disney hasn’t really flexed those boundaries much, except for the occasional release like “The Beatles: Get Back”.
So Disney+ already has the technology in place to offer more content for teenagers and adults. You only have to look at the global trending charts, to see that more people are watching mainstream shows like “Grey’s Anatomy”, “Family Guy”, and “The Walking Dead”, than Disney Channel shows.
Earlier this year, Disney CEO Bob Chapek suggested that he wasn’t opposed to eventually merging its streaming services together, as the Disney Streaming Bundle isn’t ideal. Other streaming services like HBO Max, Peacock, Paramount+, Netflix and Amazon, all offer much more variety than Disney+ in the United States. There is more pressure on Disney to shift its current thoughts on what content should be on Disney+.
With Disney’s stock shares taking a tumble in the past few weeks and Disney executives apparently in heated discussions over the future of Disney+ in the US. Does the answer come from how Disney+ is used internationally?
The big stumbling block with expanding Disney+ with mature content is Hulu, which Comcast still owns 33% of. So there are no doubt some legal issues to be dealt with, but the evidence is building that a combined service in the United States might be best.
Would you like to see more mature content on 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.