Disney is reportedly focused on developing more diverse content for its streaming services in an effort to grow its black subscriber base.
Disney+ is reportedly focused on developing more diverse content to grow its Black subscriber base. At this point, it is well known that the streaming service has been a runaway success out of the gate. The service debuted by gaining over 10 million subscribers on its opening day alone. Since then, the streaming giant has ballooned its subscriber base to over 100 million members in just a little over a year. Disney+ has had multiple hit original television shows including The Mandalorian, WandaVision, and now The Falcon and The Winter Solider.
Disney’s other streaming services are also doing well. As of now, Hulu has almost 40 million subscribers while ESPN+ has over 12 million. The company revealed in December that due to their streaming division becoming so successful they have actually updated their projections. Disney is now predicted to reach over 200 million subscribers by 2026. All of this streaming news has delighted Wall Street investors, keeping Disney’s stock prices afloat throughout a rocky year largely due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
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With all of this success, however, it can be a surprise to hear that there is something Disney+ is not succeeding at dominating. IGN was able to acquire information presented at an internal Disney meeting where it was revealed that the company was having some issues obtaining and sustaining Black subscribers. According to the reports, the number of Black customers subscribed to Disney+ was lower than the average of other competing streaming services. One slide in the presentation reportedly stated that “retaining Black subs at the same rate of white subs” was their main goal for Hulu and that Disney wished to “increasing Black subs to 13%, similar to competitive platforms“. Black subscribers are also apparently down for ESPN+. According to the documents, Disney’s goal is to “match Black subs to ESPN linear (cable) viewership at 18%“.
Since 2019, then Disney CEO Bob Iger has been expressing his mission to increase the diversity within the company’s executives’ ranks. Now, we can see why. Reports from the company’s internal meeting included details surrounding their efforts to increase its diversity both internally and externally. The company sees this as the key to growing and sustaining the number of Black subscribers to each of its streaming platforms like Disney+ and Hulu. Their hope is that doing this will lead to a more diverse slate of content that will appeal to a wider demographic.
It is great that Disney wants to increase their diversity both on and behind the screen. However, it is odd to hear this diversity initiative illustrated in such a corporate and numerical way. It is also interesting to hear that Disney realizes that their own content on Disney+ is not drawing enough Black subscribers. This could be one reason why the company recently greenlit a Disney+ original show based on the fictional African kingdom of Wakanda. Nevertheless, it sounds like there will be a lot more diverse content coming to the Disney bundle rather soon.
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