In just over two years, Disney+ has become one of the biggest names in the streaming world. The media giant has bolstered a stellar back catalog of movies and TV with new original content by using some of the biggest IP's in the world. Now, the Disney+ formula has not changed all that much since the service launched; however, there have been talks of ads showing up on the streaming platform.
Up to this point, Disney+ has been ad-free with a premium subscription being paid per household to access its content. But news recently came to light that the company was introducing a cheaper, budget-friendly tier to the service that would incorporate mid-program advertising (akin to plans on Hulu).
With more than 129 million subscribers on Disney+, it makes a lot of sense that brands would want a slice of that pie, no matter how minuscule it may be. And if a new report is to be believed, these subscription numbers are not the only reason that advertisers want in on the Disney+ action.
Marvel and Star Wars Sell
A source close to The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Marvel and Star Wars were a big reason why advertisers want in on Disney+.
The source, who works at a media buying firm, said that, alongside Hulu and Disney's linear channels, their clients were demanding placement in and around premium content on Disney+ (i.e. Book of Boba Fett and Loki).
Executives at the company said the announcement of an ad-based plan on Disney+ was made ahead of pitch meetings that are tied to Disney's upfront, which is coming up later this spring in New York City.
Getting a Taste of Those Streaming Dollars
Isn't this always the way? If there is money to be made, money will be made. Disney+ has garnered a solid subscriber base fast, so it makes a lot of sense that these brands would want in on this action.
Disney's clients literally have more advertising dollars than the House of Mouse has space to put ads, so why wouldn't they offer the opportunity for those clients to get in front of that streaming audience?
Plus, it's a streaming world now. Gone are the days of 106 million people sitting down to watch the finals of M.A.S.H. on traditional cable. Now, the biggest names in entertainment are on streamers. It's projects like The Mandalorian and Loki that rule the content game.
This move to streaming has left many advertisers out to dry. For the most part, these digital platforms are walled gardens. Once a subscriber is in, the only person they are paying is Disney, Amazon, or Netflix. So these companies wanting to advertise have had to adapt and getting onto the streamers directly is one way to do so. And why not do it with some of the biggest titles in the space?
Surely, there will be fan uproar over ads coming to Disney+; however, that ad-free tier will always be there (at least for now). So, those who are willing to pony up those extra couple of dollars will not have to worry.