We're now less than three months away from the highly anticipated launch of Disney+, Disney's (NYSE: DIS) most significant push into over-the-top (OTT) video streaming yet. The entertainment behemoth is making the service's value proposition hard to ignore, including a compelling feature set for just $7 per month (or $70 per year) before taking into account possible bundling discounts. Many on Wall Street are bullish about Disney+'s prospects: Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter estimates that Disney will grab 10 million to 15 million U.S. subscribers in the first year.
Here's another sign that there's already considerable pent-up demand for Disney+.
Disney's direct-to-consumer chief, Kevin Mayer, details Disney+ at the D23 Expo. Image source: Disney.
An onslaught of prospective subscribers crashed the site
Disney is currently offering a heavily discounted three-year subscription to Disney+ for members of D23, the company's official fan club. The promotion knocks $69 off the cost of a three-year subscription, which is normally $210. That brings the annual cost down to just $47, or less than $4 per month. That's a quarter of the cost of Netflix Premium, which has a comparable feature set, such as 4K Ultra HD and four concurrent streams.
D23 members are invited to be part of the Disney+ Founders Circle and save $23 per year on a 3-year Disney+ subscription (that's 33% off the standard annual price): https://t.co/TRR3c21ggu pic.twitter.com/jUgVhjWZss— Disney D23 (@DisneyD23) August 26, 2019
There are three different tiers of D23 membership with varying levels of benefits: Gold, Gold Family, and General. While Gold and Gold Family cost $100 and $130 per year, respectively, a General membership is free. In other words, consumers can effectively score a massive discount on a service that is already priced incredibly competitively, as long as they're willing to sign up for D23 membership and commit to a three-year subscription.
The offer has gone viral -- so much so that a surge of traffic crashed the sign-up site yesterday.
We are aware of an issue impacting access to the D23 website due to the heavy volume of traffic that the site is experiencing. We are working to quickly resolve the issue and apologize for the inconvenience.— Disney D23 (@DisneyD23) August 27, 2019
The site is now back up and the House of Mouse is accepting new enrollments.
On the last earnings call, CEO Bob Iger noted that marketing for Disney+ would ramp up near the end of August. "We're actually going to allow members of D23 to be the first to subscribe," Iger said. The chief executive added that he was putting together a "comprehensive marketing plan" for what he described as "the most important product" that Disney, a popular dividend stock, has launched during his tenure as CEO. That's quite a proclamation; Iger became Disney CEO back in 2005.
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