It has taken Walt Disney (DIS -0.54%) just two years to have a commanding presence in the streaming video market, and all it took to make up for lost time was to bundle its unmatched content catalog of family classics with original shows under the Disney+ banner.
Disney+ Day is an event that the media giant is celebrating on Friday, marking the day the premium service launched two years ago. The initial pitch was all of the content that was landing on the platform on Friday. A couple of the studio's biggest 2021 box office winners -- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Jungle Cruise -- will be hitting Disney+, along with other new and classic content.
Disney is even giving former and potentially new subscribers a price break. A month of Disney+ will be available for $1.99 for those signing up through Disney and even Target (TGT -0.58%) stores over the weekend. The subscriptions will automatically renew at the regular price of $7.99 a month after that if they're not cancelled. However, the Disney+ Day revolution will not be simply streamed. The media mogul is making sure it resonates throughout its vast empire.
Everything the light touches is our kingdom
One of the bullish arguments for Disney as an investment is how a hit property makes the rest of the ecosystem better. A hit film at the local multiplex turns into merchandising opportunities, in-park attractions, and Disney+ spinoffs. It's not a shock to see Disney making sure that many other facets of its business are getting in on the second birthday of its ascending streaming service.
Friday will be a special day for theme park visitors who are Disney+ subscribers. They will get an extra 30 minutes of access to the parks in Florida, California, and France. There will also be a blue carpet with character moments and free access to digital photo keepsakes from the event at Disneyland, Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida, and Walt Disney Studios at Disneyland Paris.
There will also be big deals to be had for folks with Disney items on their holiday shopping lists. Disney+ subscribers will get free shipping at ShopDisney.com. Other digital discounts include $0.99 eBooks, 20% off at Disney Music Emporium, and bonus points for Disney Movie Insider members.
The more tantalizing perk is likely its most exotic. Disney is partnering with VeVe -- an app-based marketplace for premium licensed digital collectibles -- to offer a series of non-fungible tokens or NFTs based on Disney+ franchises. Disney's just starting to scratch the surface with NFTs. Will it be big enough to move the needle? Disney is already a massive company, but no one can match the breadth of its intellectual properties.
All roads on Friday will lead to Disney+, a service that raced to 116 million subscribers by the end of June. They're not paying much, with average revenue per user of just $4.19 a month. Growth is also slowing, as CEO Bob Chapek noted at an investor conference a week before the fiscal fourth quarter came to a close that it would add net new accounts in the "low-single-digit millions" for the period.
Just the creation of Disney+ Day could be an attraction and ultimately retention tool for the platform. If investors expect an annual deluge of new content and off-platform perks why cancel? It's a smart move with a wide net. Disney knows what it's doing.