Disney+ Liquidating Assets, Platform Sends Out Warning

in Disney, Entertainment

Bob Iger in front of the Disney+ library on fire

Credit: Inside the Magic

If you are a Disney+ subscriber, you may have received an offer warning in your inbox today.

Disney+ ad featuring Disney and Pixar characters
Credit: Disney+

Disney+ emerged as a soon-to-be massive streaming service that officially launched on November 12, 2019 with the help of Disney CEO Bob Iger. Developed by The Walt Disney Company, Disney+ was envisioned as a comprehensive platform hosting a vast array of content, spanning Disney’s extensive film and television library, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic. The service aimed to provide a family-friendly streaming option with a diverse range of entertainment.

When individuals initially subscribed to Disney+, they sought to access an extensive library of Disney content conveniently. Gone were the days of buying DVDs or searching for ways to watch beloved Disney films and shows online, as everything was consolidated in one accessible platform. However, to stay competitive in the streaming market dominated by giants like Netflix, Disney recognized the need to go beyond their existing content and venture into creating Disney+ exclusive and original content.

Multiple Disney profile logins
Credit: What’s On Disney Plus

This realization prompted a substantial surge in content production, propelling Disney+ into one of the premier streaming services. The Star Wars universe notably expanded with the critically acclaimed series The Mandalorian, spanning three award-winning seasons and breaking records consistently. The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) also experienced exponential growth, with numerous series delving into individual storylines and characters, ultimately contributing to a grand narrative within the MCU timeline.

During Disney’s Q3 2023 Earnings Call, it was revealed that Disney+ subscribers had decreased to 146.1 million. While Disney’s target for Disney+ subscribers was initially set at 154.8 million, it fell short of this goal. Although Disney’s “core” consumer base saw a modest 1% increase, there has been a noticeable decline in subscribers. This decline is attributed to Disney scaling back the volume of content available to its audience, impacting those paying for the service on a month-to-month basis.

Disney and Apple cross promote (Disney Plus) on different devices including a laptop, mobile phone, smart tv, and tablet showing various Disney+ films and Disney+ TV shows
Credit: Disney

Additionally, Disney has also been actively undergoing a content purge all while increasing prices and cracking down on password sharing like their competitor, Netflix.

As shared by Business Insider, “Disney Plus costs $8 a month for ad-supported streaming, or $14 a month for ad-free playback. All members get access to the full Disney Plus library of movies and shows, including exclusive series like “Loki,” new movies like “Haunted Mansion,” and a huge back catalog filled with animated classics.

The current ad-free Disney Plus price is the result of a $3 increase that went into effect on October 12.”

Below is a breakdown of all tiers involved with Disney+

  • Disney Plus with ads (monthly) $8/month
  • Disney Plus ad-free (monthly) $14/month
  • Disney Plus ad-free (annual) $140/month
  • Disney Plus (ads) and Hulu (ads) $10/month
  • Disney Plus (ads), Hulu (ads), and ESPN Plus $15/month
  • Disney Plus (ad-free) and Hulu (ad-free) $20/month
  • Disney Plus (ad-free), Hulu (ad-free), and ESPN Plus $25/month
  • Disney Plus (ads), Hulu + Live TV (ads), and ESPN Plus $77/month
  • Disney Plus (ad-free), Hulu + Live TV (ad-free), and ESPN Plus $90/month
Disney officials presenting Disney+
Credit: Disney

As you can see, the plans can change dramatically depending on what streaming platforms you want included.

Additionally, as noted by Disney, “You may not share your account and subscription outside of your household. “Household” means the collection of devices associated with your primary personal residence that are used by the individuals who reside therein.”

While Disney is making is more and more difficult for users to afford and use the platform their entertainment side is undergoing some serious need for damage control.

Typically, The Walt Disney Company is one that is synonymous with movies and entertainment; from Marvel to Star Wars to Pixar to Disney Animation, the films are capable of pulling in billions of dollars.

Disney+ interface screen
Credit: Disney

That being said, it seems that over the past year, the entertainment side of things has not been performing as Disney would have typically expected, and even returning CEO Bob Iger has stated that he was not expecting the level of challenges that he is now dealing with post-pandemic and post-Bob Chapek.

Movie Web shared, “2023 marked the 100-year anniversary of the founding of the Walt Disney Company. It was supposed to be a year of celebration with many high-profile projects that would set the box office on fire. Yet many of their films have been disappointments (Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny), while others have been outright flops (Haunted Mansion, The Marvels). Only Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and Elemental can be seen as hits for the studio.

Disney is facing the worst year they have had in many years. It feels like their box office domination of 2019 is so far away, and the cracks are starting to form in the company. The COVID-19 pandemic greatly impacted Disney, and it is still recovering from it. Here is how Disney has become a failing brand and what the future holds for it.”

On top of that, Disney has been hit with a lot of controversy surrounding casting choices and film plots. 

Ariel (Halle Bailey) resting on jellyfish and talking to Sebastian
Credit: Disney

When Disney cast Halle Bailey, a Black actress, as Ariel in The Little Mermaid, the outrage began. Now, Disney is facing significant backlash for selecting Latina actress Rachel Zegler to portray Snow White. Criticism is further intensifying as the studio revises the film’s plot, eliminating the Prince Charming character due to consent concerns and reclassifying the seven dwarfs as “magical creatures.”

The studio’s actions are provoking accusations of excessive “wokeness,” especially following the Strange World controversy. Disney’s efforts toward increased diversity and inclusivity, including the integration of LGBTQ characters into their films, have garnered mixed reactions.

In tandem with these controversies, Disney’s latest animated film, Wish, has experienced an underwhelming performance. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, it generated $31.7 million, falling short of the projected $45-$55 million.

Asha from Disney's 'Wish' standing in front of a door
Credit: Disney

Recently, Iger spoke out on the failings of the onslaught of Disney movies this year, “There has to be a good reason to make them,” Iger said. “Often, the story is not as strong as the original story, that can be a problem, but it just has to have a reason, you have to have a reason to make it beyond commerce,” Iger said. “There has to be an artistic reason to make it, and we’ve made too many.”

So, it appears even the CEO of the company is not only aware (because how could he not be), but is publically acknowledging the company’s shortcomings.

Now, Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) is sharing that, “Disney+ launched a new subscriber perks page with special discounts for subscribers. The discounts include an upcoming special offer for Walt Disney World, 50% discount on D23 Gold, $5 Fandango discount code for #Wish movie tickets, and more. Offers good today through Jan. 31.”

It seems that Disney is not only attempting to entice people to join Disney+ as a subscriber but also sharing their current weakness by attempting to liquidate them. The platform is pushing for more sales of Wish, and it seems that they are also looking to increase their D23 Gold Membership. If we have seen Disney do anything in the past, it is increase costs. For example, Magic Kingdom can cost up to $180 per person to enter. If Disney thought that the demand was not there, they would not price it so high, but since it is, we do not typically see discounts on tickets (unless you are a Florida resident).

Interestingly enough, they are also seemingly going to be using that demand to vacation at Disney World to pull people into Disney+ by offering platform-only exclusive deals.

So, for Disney to be offering so many discounts, it is likely that these things are not big sellers for the company right now.

Overall, it seems that numbers are dropping across the board, and Disney is doing what they can to boost them.

Would these Disney+ offerings entice you to become a subscriber or not leave the platform? 

in Disney, Entertainment

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