Can Disney Marry Streaming and Shopping?



The Walt Disney Company last week started a “limited trial” in the US that will allow Disney+ subscribers to purchase exclusive merchandise from franchises such as “Star Wars,” “Black Panther,” and “Frozen” through the Disney+ app.

Disney+ subscribers can visit or go to the detail pages for select movies, series and shorts on Disney+ and scan QR codes to gain access to purchase merchandise approximately one week before the general public.

The test is part of a broader effort to integrate Disney’s two main businesses – Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution (DMED) and Disney Parks, Experiences and Products (DPEP) – through Disney+ with the goal of developing Disney+ into a lifestyle branded app.

“It’s the physical and digital aspects of your Disney lifestyle that come together,” Disney CEO Bob Chapek said in mid-October That wall street journals Tech Live Conference. The cross-functional integration of consumer data and the use of information about customer habits should support customer-specific products and cross-selling efforts.

In September, Disney offered Disney+ is offering subscribers discounts at Walt Disney World hotels in Florida and has confirmed it is considering offering members special access to theme parks and resorts.

Amazon and Apple bundled discounts and streaming video and music deals, but didn’t directly link product sales to their shows. Netflix also has products available at Walmart, Target, and online, but doesn’t link them to shows.

The most advanced seems to be Comcast’s NBCUniversal (NBCU), which began rolling out show-centric shoppable content in 2019. Viewers scanned QR codes on their TV screens to be directed to an e-commerce store. More recently, the service has become a “Shop the scenes“ Virtual shopping platform.

writing for TechCrunch, Sarah Perez said the early product access should appeal to Disney fans as many are collectors. She added: “Also, alongside shows and movies, marketing is one of the best places to get these products for sale. The question is whether streaming viewers actually want to be fiddling with their phones while they’re relaxing in front of the TV.”

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How would you rate the feasibility of selling themed merchandise alongside specific Disney+ shows and movies? Is technology advanced enough to support couch potato shopping from streaming services?

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“How would you rate the feasibility of selling themed items alongside specific Disney+ shows and movies?”


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