Disney+ Passes 73m Subscribers: Implications For The Toy Business

Disney+ Passes 73m Subscribers: Implications For The Toy Business

Disney announced in the past week that their Disney+ subscription-based viewing offering has passed 73million subscribers worldwide. This is a meteoric success for a recently launched product. Netflix by comparison took years to hit a similar level, whereas Disney+ has got there in just one year.

Aside from offering subscribers access to the vast vault of Disney content, the platform also offers the Marvel movie series AND the full collection of Star Wars movies and TV shows. Based on their unrivalled content catalogue, it was always a matter of when not if Disney would launch their own content platform.

The successful launch of Disney+ has to have been assisted by the Covid-19 pandemic and resultant lockdowns. People stuck at home have clearly seen Disney+ as both a compelling viewing opportunity and a bargain at the relatively low monthly subscription.

While Disney’s corporate results will not look so good for the period of the pandemic due to the loss of revenue from theme parks and due to the movie theatre network either being closed or lacking footfall to distribute their new blockbuster movies across, Disney+ stands out like a beacon of high performance during this difficult time.

For the toy business, the impact of Disney+ will be long and mostly positive. In the short term, Disney has a platform for launching new content which is only going to grow. When the pandemic first hit there was not an established alternative to movie theaters, but now Disney will always have the option of going direct to Disney+…in fact they will probably need to do that for at least some lower budget new movies to keep the momentum going. Disney+ is going to keep on growing and growing, and as such will offer an even bigger opportunity going forward.

The original content created around the Star Wars franchise in the shape of The Mandalorian has already proven that Disney+ alone can drive merchandise sales with the success of Baby Yoda products so far (despite their being no product in the market until some months after the content went live).

Longer term, when the pandemic clears and life eventually returns to normal, toy companies will have more opportunities due to the presence and scale of Disney+. For the next round of Marvel and Star Wars movies global cinematic releases should be possible which will see a return to the traditional method of toys based on movie licenses, but with an extra platform and launch window to drive merchandise sales. In fact, the boost to the adoption level of Disney+ may eventually give the toy business a significant boost.


We run a Consultancy business for toy companies. Sourcing and factory finding is one of our primary specialisms. We have worked with hundreds of toy & game companies to support their Sourcing efforts. We have saved our clients more than $10m. We are considered by many to be the leading Consultancy for toy manufacturing in India and other toy manufacturing hubs. From plush to plastics, from dolls to play dough we have worked on nearly every toy category. To find out more: www.KidsBrandInsight.com/services

You can also find out about our work with Indian toy factories here: http://www.ToyTeamIndia.com