One year ago, on November 12th, 2019, the industry witnessed the launch of the iconic storyteller's streaming platform, Disney+. In this article, we take stock of the platforms accomplishments and look forward to what's still to come.
At launch, Disney+ surpassed 10 million subscribers, demonstrating the prowess of its brand-based and franchise-built catalog. Audiences signed up for nostalgic family favorites and one global mega-hit: The Mandalorian.
Today, Disney+ now has 73 million subscribers and prepares to launch in Latin America! While some things have changed, some things have remained the same. For instance, in the US, it's demand-share has relatively stayed constant.
Disney+’s share of demand peaked in December 2019 when The Mandalorian aired its S1 finale at 7.6% demand share for digital originals and has since stagnated.
The Mandalorian is still the streamer's most successful debuting original series premiered. The second highest-performing premiere, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series only had 17% of its demand. The third highest-performing premiere, The Right Stuff, only received 8% of its demand.
The Mandalorian remains critical to the platforms success. The Mandalorian Season 2's premiere out-performed Season 1's premiere by 174%. This is the second largest season-over-season growth in demand among hit 2019 debuts.
While Disney+ has not released another hit original debut in year 1, it cultivated the Star Wars fandom by interconnecting storylines between The Mandalorian and Clone Wars, which released season 7 on the platform. The chart below shows how demand for one lead to increased audience demand for the other.
So, Disney+ demonstrated the power of its storefront approach built upon giant franchised universes in year 1. But, what's to come? What lies beyond The Mandalorian?
The giant will likely aim to replicate its successes among Star Wars fans with Marvel fans. This way Disney+ can continue to growing universes with a shared audience. At launch, our data found that 73% of Star Wars fans also demanded Marvel content.
Thus all the built Star Wars fandom demand will draw demand for their Marvel series.
This is great news given the next big hit from Disney+ is likely to be WandaVision, which has 64% of The Mandalorian's demand among US audiences 30 days pre-release.
WandaVision was originally expected to release in December 2020, but has been since delayed to 2021. Nonetheless, its success will likely be a major defining factor of year 2 for Disney+.