Disney CEO Bob Chapek revealed some fascinating new information about its streaming service Disney+ during a virtual conference with Morgan Stanley. Chapek spoke about the growth of Disney+ and how the service has attracted a market they didn’t expect.
Disney+ recently announced that they’re closing in on 100 million total subscribers. Their growth has far exceeded even aggressive forecasts. Chapek noted that the demographics of their subscribers, specifically the number of subscribers without kids, caught them by surprise.
Chapek’s comments, via Variety:
“What we didn’t realize was the non-family appeal that a service like Disney Plus would have. In fact, over 50% of our global marketplace [subscribers] don’t have kids, and that is the big difference,” he said, adding shortly after, “When 50% of the [subscribers to] Disney Plus don’t have kids, you really have the opportunity now to think much more broadly about the nature of your content.”
Disney initially split its content into two distinct buckets in the United States with “family-friendly” content appearing on Disney+ and more mature content on Hulu. Internationally, Disney is using Star to mostly combine those two concepts.
Chapek’s comments suggest there may be a larger market for more adult content on Disney+ itself. Shows such as The Mandalorian and Marvel’s WandaVision have been a huge success. It’s possible that the success of these shows combined with half of subscribers not having kids will lead to more mature shows created for adults.
Disney hasn’t released many official numbers or ratings for its shows, but most estimates place WandaVision as one of the most-watched streaming shows. The success of this show and others with more serious and adult themes will be data Disney will use to influence future decisions.
A future where the lines start to blur between Disney+ and Hulu makes a lot of sense. Disney should start planning more adult content as soon as possible if they hope to gain more subscribers without kids and retain the ones they already have.