Editor’s Note: A data analysis within the original version of the article below has been removed due to its inadequate explanation of the measurement.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek at a Goldman Sachs conference earlier this week said that Disney+ would add fewer subscribers in calendar Q3 than it did in the quarter prior.
While early 2021 saw Disney+ drop big series like “WandaVision” and “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” no TV show of that caliber (i.e., a live-action and star-driven Marvel series) dropped in August. The last major show Disney+ debuted was “Loki,” which dropped its last episode in mid-July.
Moreover, the most recent day-and-date releases for Disney were “Black Widow” (July 9) and “Jungle Cruise” (July 30).
There have been signs elsewhere that recent Disney+ growth hasn’t been stellar. Apptopia data analyzed by VIP+ in mid-September revealed that global mobile downloads of Disney+ had steadily trended downward between July 1 and August 31.
Peacock placed live streams of Olympic men’s basketball (the gold medal game of which aired August 6) on its $4.99/month premium tier. Moreover, WWE’s SummerSlam 2021 (which counted over 50,000 in attendance) was a perk of Peacock’s premium tier in August.
And VIP previously speculated that, based on Apptopia data, Olympics men’s basketball in August didn’t cause a surge in Peacock usage and that the streamer likely saw a bigger bump from the Tokyo Games in July closer to when the event started.
Churn rates have likely become a bigger focus among the video streamers that launched post-November 2019 as notable promotions have expired.
Disney+ and Apple TV+, which both launched in November 2019, initially attempted to accelerate growth by giving one year of their services for free to Verizon customers and Apple device purchasers, respectively.
Over two-thirds of promo customers stuck with Disney+ after their free trial expired, Verizon said in January 2021.
Meanwhile, Apple in June of this year shortened its Apple TV+ freebie length to Apple device purchasers from one year to three months. Apple TV+ currently has around 40 million subscribers, and about half of those are on free trials, according to a September report by The Information.
“Ted Lasso” has helped Apple TV+ gain momentum in the past year, but it (along with other SVODs) can’t rely on one buzzy title for long-term growth.
VIP and the Maru Group in May found that a fifth of adults 18+ had canceled a service after signing up to watch a specific title.
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