Disney launched its new streaming platform Disney+ less than a week ago, and it’s already a massive success. Over 10-million subscribers signed up on the first day, and its growth is projected to reach 90-million subscribers by 2024.

The success of the first week can be attributed to the full library of Disney’s legacy content (from Aristocats to Zootopia) and the premier of an original, exclusive Star Wars series, The Mandalorian. The platform is also commercial-free, so viewers can watch their favorite movies and shows uninterrupted.

To further encourage sign-ups, Disney+ offered a bundle deal with Hulu (with ads) and ESPN+; viewers can get all three services for $12.99 per month.

How will the addition of Disney+ into the streaming pool affect advertisers? It’s a bit early to tell for certain, but for starters:

  • Although people continue to subscribe to ad-free platforms, ad supported video content online is ever increasing. In fact, 78% of people watch online videos every week and 55% view online videos every day. This is an area of growth that markers can still reach consumers with video content, regardless of how popular ad-free streaming services are becoming.
  • Viewers are becoming accustomed to ad-free platforms. Whether they’re watching Netflix, have a premium subscription to Hulu, or just signed up for Disney+, consumers are getting used to ad-free services and are willing to pay a premium price for access. These people are bypassing ad-supported platforms and therefore are becoming harder to reach.
  • Subscribers to Hulu with ads will increase as people purchase it with the Disney+ bundle. This means more impressions will become available on Hulu in multiple markets, increasing the reach of your message.

Between ad-supported streaming services, broadcast/cable television, and online opportunities, there are still many ways to reach consumers given the increase in ad-free options in the market. We will continue to keep an eye on this trend and will carefully evaluate the most appropriate placements for our clients.