Wednesday 25th March 2020


To mark the Disney+ launch in the UK, we’re releasing some key insights from our proprietary research ‘VODyssey’ around the new SVOD service:

50% of households with children (under 16) claim they would take up the service in the next year.

Coming to the rescue:

The launch seems to have come at a time when its target audience needs it the most, to help entertain children and adults alike through a very difficult time.

As would be expected, potential subscribers have been discussing Disney+ as a lifesaver with kids at home for the foreseeable future. Having the kids at home has also been the trigger that convinced some potential subscribers who were on the fence to sign up.

Our data shows well over a third (37%) of the UK population claim to be likely to take up a subscription to Disney+ in the next 12 months. 50% of households with children (under 16) claim they would take up the service in the next year.

Even factoring in over claim, this doesn’t seem surprising given the US launch. The US has seen astonishing take-up of Disney+, with nearly half of US households with young families have a subscription before the service is even six months old.

“Counting down the hours until Disney+ launch… lifesaver with everything going on now”

– Twitter, UK


Disney+ impact on Netflix – replacement or complement?

The launch seems to have come at a time when its target audience needs it the most.

When Disney+ launched in the US last year there was a lot of commentary around the ‘1 Million Subscribers’ who’d left Netflix to switch. Yet only a tiny proportion of the user base in the US is made of these switchers, while around 20% of new Disney+ users already have – and have kept – their Netflix subscription.

We asked Netflix subscribers if the removal of Disney content (including Pixar and Marvel) from Netflix would in any way affect their current relationship with Netflix. The vast majority of UK Netflix subscribers would not cancel their subscription if this happens: less than one in ten (7%) actively claimed they would cancel.

Households are increasingly finding room for more than one subscription, often a ‘main’, permanent subscription, and complementary secondary services. As a cheaper and more ‘specialist’ service than the Netflix Swiss Army knife, Disney+ looks well positioned to sit alongside rather than replace it.

In our previous VODyssey study, we identified some subscribers treating their ‘secondary subscriptions’ like taps to be turned on temporarily at key moments and then dropped. For Netflix devotees, this might be the fate for Disney+

“I had to go between the services this weekend to watch all the Star Wars movies. After that, went back to Netflix to watch other stuff. Disney’s a nice add for the family, but doesn’t replace Netflix IMO.”

– Reddit, US


Annual subscriptions seem like a bargain right now

Disney’s launch campaign focusing on the annual subscription price looks like a potential masterstroke. Annual subscriptions will guarantee revenue from customers who might otherwise try for a month, potentially discovering the limits of the service.

Interestingly, discussions haven’t focused on the relative price versus Netflix as the ‘comparative anchor’ as much as we expected. In the current climate, we’ve seen more discussions about the annual price compared to (now impossible) family meals out, cinema trips or takeaways rather than other SVOD services.

“Considering that’s a cost of a takeaway, even if it’s only used sparingly it’s worth it!”

– Mumsnet, UK


Kids-only, or enough for adult subscribers too?

Beyond families, potential subscribers seem torn on whether there’ll be enough content to justify an ongoing subscription for adults (even Marvel/Star Wars superfans).

Comments in both the US and the UK reflect that beyond the back catalogue, and new episodes of flagship original series The Mandalorian, there’s not much on the horizon to justify an ongoing subscription.

“I’m weighing up whether to get the annual subscription or wait a few months for all the Mandalorian episodes… am I likely to be disappointed if I subscribe primarily for the Star Wars content?”

– Reddit, UK

Thirsty for more...