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In streaming wars, Disney reaches beyond kids and families

  • Published at 08:18 pm November 12th, 2019
Disney
A screen shows the logo and a ticker symbol for The Walt Disney Company on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., December 14, 2017 Reuters

Disney’s marketing force is reaching beyond its traditional family audience to send a message that its $7-a-month subscription service Disney+ offers something for all ages

During commercial breaks in a broadcast of World Wrestling Entertainment’s WWE SmackDown, fans were shown ads for Walt Disney Co’s (DIS.N) new streaming service, Disney+. So were Monday Night Football viewers and video gamers watching Twitch.

“Try to keep up,” said Captain Marvel in one ad after a series of fast-paced clips from Star Wars, The Simpsons, The Avengers and other Disney-owned hits from outside of its deep catalogue of children’s classics.

Disney’s marketing force is reaching beyond its traditional family audience to send a message that its $7-a-month subscription service Disney+ offers something for all ages. The service debuted on Tuesday in the United States, Canada and The Netherlands.

“It’s incumbent upon us to market it the right way to emphasize the fact that it’s not just for kids,” Disney executive Kevin Mayer said during a briefing at the company’s Burbank, California, headquarters. “It’s all family friendly, but everyone can enjoy this product.”

Disney has told investors it can hook 60 million to 90 million customers within about five years as it competes for customers in a crowded streaming market dominated by Netflix Inc (NFLX.O).

Signing up adults who do not have children at home is part of that plan.

Consumers may not realize that after a series of acquisitions Disney is much more than classics like Cinderella and Mary Poppins that charmed generations of families. The company now owns the celebrated Star Wars movie franchise; Iron Man, the Hulk and dozens of other Marvel superheroes; Toy Story animation house Pixar, and nature programming channel National Geographic.

Previously released movies and TV series from all of those brands, plus 30 seasons of The Simpsons, are available on Disney+ alongside decades of Disney’s family-centric offerings.

Disney+ also offers new programming from those brands.