Saturday, September 25, 2021

Disney+ Hopes Subs Will Spike With New Promo Offer

After dropping its 7-day free trial offer in June 2020 — seven months after its November 2019 launch — Disney+ is again promoting that offer, via a direct-mail piece, according to MediaPost.

The Disney+ direct mail piece, which drives recipients to use a code provided to respond to the offer via an area on the Disney+ site, was sent to an estimated 500,000 U.S. households.

Disney+ discontinued the free-trial offer amid robust subscriber growth, shortly before the debut of its movie version of “Hamilton” on the streamer.

Taking a free trial to watch a specific movie or series, then canceling, is a common practice.

Disney+’s long run of big leaps in paid subscribers has slowed of late, particularly in the U.S.

U.S. slowing was largely behind a smaller-than-expected increase in subscribers in the company’s fiscal second quarter ended April 3. Global Disney+ subscribers rose to 103.6 million in that quarter — up from 103.6 million in fiscal Q2 — but analysts had projected 109 million.

While Disney+ global subscribers had risen to 116 million by the third quarter — beating the 114.5 million expected by analysts — the total included just a 1-million gain in North America, to about 38 million, according to one report.

Increasingly, Disney+’s growth has been driven by India, where its Hotstar streaming subscribers rose by about 12 million, to 38 million, in the six months leading up to July.

This week, Disney CEO Bob Chapek warned during an industry conference that Disney+ “hit some headwinds” in its current fiscal fourth quarter, and is expected to see subscriber gains in the “low single-digit millions.” Some analysts had been projecting growth in excess of 10 million.

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