We no longer present Disney +, the SVOD of the Disney group, available since November 12, 2019 in the United States and since April 7, 2020 in France. While we impatiently await the release of season 2 of The Mandalorian, which is fast approaching, Disney is adding a new feature to its platform.
Disney + urged to renew itself
Since its publication, Disney + continues to be at the heart of geek news. Its initial promise, which is to offer the entire Disney catalog, as well as new unpublished series drawn from the extended universes Star Wars and Marvel, obviously explains its success, and the fact that we devote several articles to SVOD per month.
Despite this initial promise, Disney +, however, struggles to satisfy everyone. He is accused of a catalog that is insufficiently supplied, and essentially aimed at young people. Otherwise, the controversy surrounding the film Mulan, directly catapulted onto Disney +, thus depriving cinema operators of a blockbuster which they have been promoting for many months, put the Disney platform at the heart of a bad buzz which it would have done well.
If we add to this the leadership of Netflix, and the emergence of promising new platforms, such as HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video and AppleTV +, the Disney platform is forced, less than a year after its publication, to renew itself.
A relevant or opportunistic feature?
To do this, Disney is currently testing a new feature on Disney +: a multi-party viewing function, called GroupWatch, currently in testing in Canada. It allows up to six Disney + subscribers to watch the same program, and would be available in other countries from this fall.
This new feature allows us to question again about Disney’s strategies. Indeed, we understand the relevance of the GroupWatch function, in the midst of the CoVid-19 pandemic. In North America, only 60% of cinemas have reopened their doors, and they do not attract enough spectators. In the rest of the world too, cinemas are deserted, because of the coronavirus. Disney + would thus offer a confined cinema experience, from the cinema to the home. A strategy that also seems to respond to the controversy over the release of Mulan on Disney +. Perceived as a social experience, cinema viewing finds a new enemy here: “social SVODs”.
For now, we do not know what enthusiasm will generate GroupWatch. However, one can wonder about the ability of this new feature to retain Disney + users, and to push potential future customers to subscribe to Disney’s SVOD.