According to MediaRadar’s latest analysis, Disney+ ad spend surged 158 percent year-over-year (YoY) from January to February.
With vaccine rollouts and more parts of the world opening up, Disney has shifted ad spend slightly. The company moved 13 percent of its digital spend to national television, which now represents 96 percent of its ad spend from January to February.
From December 2019 to February 2020, Disney+ spent an average of $6.2 million per month on national television and digital formats.
As MediaRadar notes, the creative for Disney’s digital ads included a banner inviting viewers to start their free trial until May 2020, but thereafter changed the call-to-action to “Sign up now.”
“There was some concern that the original Verizon subscribers who received Disney+ as a free sign-on would have low renewal rates. That may yet come to pass for some minority of subscribers, but the big picture is that Disney+ is performing much stronger than the company, or analysts, had ever predicted,” said Todd Krizelman, chief executive of MediaRadar.
Earlier this month, Disney+ surpassed 100 million global subscribers—a milestone that took Netflix a decade to achieve. Richard Broughton, an analyst at Ampere Analysis, told The Guardian that taking into account Disney’s ESPN+ and Hulu subscribers—12.1 million and 39.4 million, respectively—Disney is expected to overtake Netflix and Amazon Prime Video as the world’s largest video streaming provider by 2024 or 2025.
In October 2020, Disney announced plans to accelerate its direct-to-consumer strategy by centralizing its media business into a single organization that would oversee content distribution, ad sales and Disney+.
The company’s fiscal first-quarter 2021 results show that DTC revenues increased 73 percent to $3.5 billion, and that paid subscribers for Disney+ jumped from 26.5 million in December 2019 to 95 million in January 2021.