What Disney Plus Could Mean To Us.

The streaming world will never be the same.

On November 12th, Disney will launch its own Disney streaming service, Disney + taking its Disney Channel roots to an on-demand pay-per-month subscription model for all of its titles . . . from the Mickey Mouse Club to Marvel to The Star War Series.

All of it.  In one place.

And more importantly, NOT in other places.

Yep, Netflix will no longer carry Marvel, Disney and Star Wars movies by the end of this year.

Which means if you’ve got a young one in your family (like a certain Broadway blogger you know and hopefully love), you’ll be pickin’ up Disney Plus faster than you can say M-I-C.

What’s drawn my attention to this model is that Disney is willing to give up the major distribution networks, like Netflix, for its direct-to-consumer model.  They’re skipping the middle man to speak straight to their customers.

They don’t want to sell their content to someone else, who sells it again to their customers.

No, no . . . Disney wants to sell its content STRAIGHT to its customers.

Because why not?

Well, the reason why it hasn’t is that Hollywood never had a direct-to-consumer option before the internet.  Disney had to go through 3rd parties . . . whether that was movie theaters, or television networks (until they bought their own), etc.

But not anymore.

Disney will now handle the sales transactions (netting higher margins) and get all the important customer data . . . not only knowing who is buying its stuff, but more importantly what its customers are buying . . . which will help influence their content creation in the future.

Why is this relevant to the theater?

We don’t sell straight to our customers.  We go through 3rd parties too.

And as a marketing person, it’s one of the things that drives me nuts.  In fact, people often ask me my “Genie Question” from my podcast, and what I’d ask the Genie from Aladdin to wish for on Broadway?

Simple.

I wish we could be our own cash register.

It would create more (and better) competition.  There would be better marketing.  And yes, I firmly believe, higher grosses.  And Broadway wouldn’t only be for the white-hot hits that sell no matter how they are sold.  Shows that might be important but not commercial could have a better shot at grinding out a run.

Disney is proving that a direct-to-consumer model is the wave of the . . . well . . . the present.  Broadway is ten years behind everyone else. But I’m predicting a big change in how tickets are sold on Broadway over the next ten years.

And maybe, just maybe, we’ll be able to speak to our customers directly to tell them all about it.

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Our conference is just TWO weeks away!  AGH!  You coming?  I hope so.  Click here.

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Comments
  • Paul says:

    If I understand it correctly, we currently go through two levels of middlemen: the theatre box office, and the ticket sales aggregators. Are you suggesting there is a method to free us of both? That’d would sure be an interesting discussion to sit in on.

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Ken Davenport
Ken Davenport

Tony Award-Winning Broadway Producer

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