So many book-length articles about the Disney Plus announcement out there now, so we wanted to follow up on our Week In Review piece to give you a TL:DR version of why this is likely to be a success.
1. $7/month ad-free is just an intro play, an AMVAP if you will. (As Many Viewers As Possible.) Same thing the vMVPDs are doing and most Silicon Valley startups. Get them signed up and then you can raise prices, introduce advertising.
2. Disney doesn’t have to establish a value proposition. Everyone knows who they are and what they stand for.
3. Disney doesn’t have to explain most of their shows. Every time Netflix launches a new series, the promos need to give you a sense of what it’s about, just to get you to consider watching it. High School Musical, the series, faces no such problem.
4. This will be a must-have for families with kids. And there are a lot of families with kids. Unlimited downloading is genius too, because kids love watching the same thing over and over.
5. Disney has an Ecosystem. With a capital “E.” Unlike Netflix, this is not their main business. Theme parks, studios, cruise ships, songs, stores, cultural iconography. They can cross-promote and cross-monetize their shows in ways that will make your head spin.
6. The Great Rebundling Starts Now. You’ll be able to get Disney Plus, Hulu and ESPN Plus for one (probably artificially low) price, and if you get Hulu Live TV, that pretty much gives you a complete TV package. Look for lots of similar packages from players like Amazon, Roku, Comcast and AT&T as the industry’s new mantra will be “reduce churn.”
7. The Hulu thing will be unclear for another year or two. And then NBCU will roll out its Flix and we’ll have a better idea how both companies are viewing Hulu and how they plan to position it. Since we have zero idea what NBCU is thinking right now (beyond “we’d better get us one of those new Flixes too”) it’s not worth guessing, but with ads and the live TV component, Hulu will likely remain an important piece of Disney’s future.