Disney+ Marketing, What’s Going On?

Disney+ Marketing, Whats Going On?

Baby Yoda, Wanda, Loki! These 3 are examples of stars of some of the latest Disney Plus shows, WandaVision, Loki, and The Mandalorian. These characters are all part of cinematic universe franchises owned by Disney (Star Wars and Marvel), where their respective shows air on Disney Plus. If you are a fan of these shows or the growing amount of shows that Disney airs, you may find yourself waiting every Friday for the newest episode of a show to come out. It’s not just discussing it with friends; it may even include indulging in videos about easter eggs (AKA subtle movie references) in the show, Funko Pops, fan theories, celebrity interviews, watching the show at 0.25 speed, and more.  For example, Wandavision hosted a massive influx of Tiktok Videos, Youtube theory videos, and Funko Pop releases that came out each week!

One might wonder, how does this even work? How did Disney turn around franchises such as Star Wars that were dormant due to the pandemic? They went old school. Disney chooses to release episodes on a week-by-week basis like older show models. Star Wars had remained without much material being produced as the nature of the franchise was with movies. With the release of Disney Plus and the COVID-19 pandemic, the franchise was allowed to expand the universe with shows such as the Mandalorian and the new Star Wars Visions. This allows Disney to build excitement around each episode with the fan theories, easter egg videos, and craze over trying to predict what happens in the next episode. A peak example is Wandavision, where the show evolves each episode with a new decade in a sitcom-style manner. This filming style allowed fans to wonder what would happen and why the show was set like this. In the meantime, fans are debating whether Wanda is more powerful than Dr. Strange; Disney was making its money through the sales of merchandise which fans bought to go along with the show’s release era. 

Unlike Netflix, Disney has the advantage of owning multiple large studios such as Marvel Studios, Pixar Studios, and LucasFilms. This provides them with movies that they can play in theaters and the streaming service. But the catch is that they are charging $30 for the film for a limited “early access.” Black Widow aired in theaters on July 9th and arrived on Disney Plus Premium the same day; it will be free to Disney Plus subscribers who did not purchase the $30 Premium option on October 6th. This type of movie release is a peak example of marketing and business management. Disney uses various distribution channels (Disney Plus, physical copies, and theaters) to maximize their profit and gain viewership during a pandemic that often limits consumption media.

Whether it’s Baby Yoda, Baby Vision, Hamilton, or any of the countless movies and shows that Disney Plus hosts on its streaming service, the streaming service uses marketing very effectively to build a substantial cultural effect where a good portion of the internet is so focused on discussing shows and movies on the streaming service.