Former Disney CEO Bob Iger recently spoke with CNBC about Disney+ and discussed the hurdles it’s facing in its third year. Iger, who is stepping down as Executive Chairman at the end of 2021, offered some insight on what he believes needs to happen to maintain the streaming service’s growth.
Iger wouldn’t contradict any guidance or forecasts Disney has provided on Disney+. That comes as the growth of Disney+ has slowed in recent months. To date, Disney+ has leaned heavily on its animated catalog, Marvel and Star Wars to attract subscribers. But is that enough?
Iger via CNBC:
“I think [Disney+] needs more volume. And there probably needs to be more dimensionality, meaning, basically, more programming or more content for more people, different demographics. But, [CEO Bob Chapek] is aware of that and is addressing those issues.”
Disney+ appeared to launch with three groups in mind – families with young kids, Marvel fans and Star Wars fans. Beyond that, Disney hasn’t focused on demographics who aren’t interested in that type of content. That puts the pressure on to retain subscribers and attract new subscribers while competing with Netflix, HBO Max and others.
Current Disney CEO Bob Chapek noted in March 2021 that over 50% of Disney+ subscribers don’t have kids. Disney seemed surprised by that stat at the time, but it proves there’s a market for more adult-oriented content on Disney+. More mature content usually lands on Hulu in the United States, which is a juggling act that will likely come to a head sooner than later.
Disney+ has received its fair share of criticism since its launch in 2019. For starters, many subscribers wonder why more of Disney’s vast TV and film catalog isn’t on the service. It’s also painfully clear there’s a content problem in the weeks and months between Marvel and Star Wars shows.
Disney may have a bumpy road ahead as they navigate the post-launch period for Disney+.