Star Wars and Marvel content is most watched among Disney+ trial users, led by 'Avengers: Infinity War'




 

Early adopters of Disney+ are mostly watching Marvel and Star Wars movies and TV shows, according to a new third-party report by SimilarWeb out today. The analytics firm measured Disney+ usage in its debut market, the Netherlands, where the service went live for a trial run back in September ahead of its global rollout, and has details on which specific titles are doing well so far.

This soft launch gave Disney a chance to work out some of the kinks before its wider availability starting in the U.S. and Canada on November 12, which will soon be followed by other international markets.

But the launch also gave third-party measurement firms early insight into what content is performing best on the new streaming service.

In the Netherlands, six of the top 10 most-viewed programs during the first month were TV series, and just four were movies. This included the most-watched film and No.1 most-watched program, Marvel Studios' "Avengers: Infinity War." That was followed by the TV series "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," then "Star Wars: The Clone Wars," and Marvel Studios' "Black Panther," which rounded out the top 5.

Star Wars and Marvel content also dominated the top 10 lists of the most-viewed movies and TV shows during this time. Marvel snagged four of the top spots for most-viewed series, while Star Wars grabbed two others.

Meanwhile, Marvel movies grabbed three of the top spots among most-watched movies during the first month, while Star Wars grabbed four other spots.

Though the data is early and limited to a single market, it does seem to point to Disney's newer franchises -- rather than its timeless animation classics or even its Pixar hits -- as being the biggest draws among Disney+'s first users.

But this also could mean that Disney will need to do more to convince families with younger children of the need to subscribe in order to gain access to Disney's kids' content. Kids' programming is something that's relatively plentiful these days across rival streamers, including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime -- and even HBO, which has a deal with Sesame Workshop. (And its upcoming service HBO Max has already locked down new Sesame Street episodes.)

Modern streaming services long ago realized that funding and licensing children's programming was an easy way to get entire families on board -- which meant more users, more watch hours and more expensive subscription plans. Even the recent newcomers to streaming are following the same path, as Roku has with the launch of its Kids & Family section on its free The Roku Channel.

The new streaming data arrives as Disney reported its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday. The company beat Wall Street expectations with earnings per share of $1.07, adjusted versus $0.95 expected, and revenue of $19.1 billion versus $19.04 billion expected. The company also announced the availability of the Disney+ app on Amazon Fire TV, which will also go live on November 12.

During an earnings call with investors, Disney CEO Bob Iger said the Disney+ test in the Netherlands indicated the service is appealing to a "far broader" demographic group than the company expected.

However, recent U.S. survey of 1,500+ consumers, hosted by the recommendations app Likewise, found that more men than women were interested in subscribing to Disney+ (46% men said they were considering versus 37% women). It also found interest in the service skewed younger with 58% of millennials indicating interest versus 38% of Gen X and only 21% of Boomers.

The full results from SimilarWeb's Disney+ study are below.

Top 10 most-viewed content in September in the Netherlands:

Top 10 TV shows

Top 10 Movies

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It was easy to spot the catalyst for the big jump in Disney stock: the company said it lured 10 million subscribers the first day Disney+ was available. Strong Retail Stocks to Buy for the 2019 Holiday Season That figure is "eye popping" and "considerably higher" than what Wall Street was forecasting, said Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives. Yes, it certainly helps that Verizon (NYSE:VZ) is offering Disney+ to its subscribers free of charge for a year, but that's smart marketing on both companies' parts.

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