Disney+ has taken the world by storm since its November 2019 launch. Initially just available in select markets like North America, the highly popular streaming service has now branched out to many more regions across the globe. And as more content gets added to the platform, most notably MCU series by Marvel Studios and Star Wars shows from Lucasfilm, the subscriber base continues to hold strong.
Not everyone consumes their Disney+ entertainment the same way, however. In fact, Ms. Marvel star Iman Vellani recently revealed that she was jokingly chided for watching another of Marvel's series, WandaVision on her phone. The person who gave her that reprimand was none other than Marvel Studios president, Kevin Feige who told the young actress that the series was "not made for phones! Watch it on TV!" Besides being in contention for Hollywood's best boss, Feige has a point: Marvel Studios does produce these shows and films with a much bigger screen in mind.
But this notion doesn't stop certain demographics from preferring to watch Disney+ on their phone, and there's solid data to back this up.
According to a survey done by Hub Entertainment Research (via MarketingCharts.com) during Disney+'s second year of existence in 2020, streaming service users predominantly elected to watch content on their smartphones. This particular observation was, of course, made before the first MCU shows arrived on the platform, but the growth that Disney+ has had since should still reflect these user habits.
One can also factor in that the number of households using their phone as their primary, go-to video-watching device has jumped not-insignificantly from 2019, when the number was at 23%, to 2022, where it sits at 30%. In fact, 51% of consumers report that they find streaming video on their smartphones to be easier than other means of viewing, such as on a television or laptop.
What's more is that, based on data compiled by Nscreen Media, a whopping 72% of individual adults living in the United States consider their phone as their preferred choice for on-demand streaming. This number is quite a bit higher than adults who use their TV or their computer for the same purpose.
What's the Cause of This Streaming Shift?
Why have so many consumers made the leap to streaming on phones as opposed to watching their favorite shows on a television?
Well, for one thing, most Americans always have their phones on them, be it in the middle of the afternoon or late into the evening. With the smartphone's ubiquitous presence, plus audiences' evergreen desire to have easy and quick access to what makes them happy, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why smartphone streaming has jumped in prominence so dramatically.
Additionally, another component one could consider is the pandemic. With more families having been stuck inside together for a longer-than-average period of time, perhaps younger viewers were more inclined to catch an episode of one of their programs on their phone while mom and dad had dibs on the living room TV?
And as for Iman Vellani, well, she's 19. Of course she's going to gravitate towards the Gen Z membership card known as the smartphone to watch WandaVision. Especially since she was likely watching during breaks from filming Ms. Marvel.
Speaking of which, Marvel Studios' Ms. Marvel currently streams exclusively on Disney+, with new episodes dropping on Wednesdays.