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Reblogged:Disney Fights Back

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At what now feels like an eternity ago, I expressed gratitude for a recent pleasant experience at Disney World, and expressed hope for a quick return to normal.

Needless to say, that hasn't happened.

Fortunately, for those of us with kids -- I have three, if I count my wife, who loves all things Disney -- the company doesn't take its "faith, trust, and pixie dust" too seriously. The folks over there are being just as creative as businessmen as they have been as entertainers, as a recent Intelligencer piece discusses regarding the company's novel release of the live-action Mulan for thirty bucks to its Disney+ subscribers:

cinema.jpg
Image by Felix Mooneeram, via Unsplash, license.
Is $30 a lot? That depends. Obviously it's more than a movie ticket for one, but it's less than a family of four would typically pay to see the movie. And while you don't get to watch Mulan on as big a screen, you also don't have to leave your house, and you can make popcorn a lot more cheaply than you could buy it at a theater. From Disney's perspective, online sales are better than sales at a theater because it doesn't need to share revenue with a theater operator, so this plan doesn't need to bring in as much revenue as an eventual theatrical release would in order to be the company's best financial strategy. And [CEO Bob] Chapek noted that there were two elements to the company's revenue strategy with Mulan: getting $30 in incremental revenue from Disney+ subscribers who watch the movie; and getting nonsubscribers to subscribe to Disney+ (which costs $7 a month or $70 a year), as a necessary step to pay $30 to see the movie.
Interestingly, the company doesn't plan to release other movies this way, but will try to learn what it can when it does this experiment.

As a customer, this looks like a great idea. And I am a little surprised that the company seems like it wants to avoid making this the default release model, even if only for the duration of the pandemic. In any event, even if the plan isn't a roaring success, I'd say it bodes well for the long-term.

-- CAV

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