Disney CEO's Disney+ comments hint at why it's really losing so many subscribers

Disney+ isn't the only streaming platform losing subscribers, but comments from CEO Bob Iger may point to why subscribers are leaving.

Streaming platforms don't always respond to subscriber churn with self-awareness, but comments from Disney CEO Bob Iger hint at how Disney+ is actually losing so many subscribers. Launched in late 2019, Disney+ was an almost immediate meteoric success, gaining millions of subscribers within days, thanks in large part to simultaneous releases of original content like The Mandalorian. In addition, Disney+ offers the allure of Disney's classic animated catalog, as well as access to its other properties, such as Lucasfilm and Star Wars, the MCU and NatGeo.

Despite Disney+'s early potential, surpassing even Netflix's top spot, according to Disney CEO Bob Iger, the streaming platform failed to respond to its growth in a way that facilitated keeping subscribers engaged. That led to Disney+ joining the ranks of other streaming services that have lost subscribers recently. While this could spell trouble for the platform, Disney's response to the loss of Disney+ subscribers could benefit the streaming service in the long run.

Disney+'s Massive Subscriber Growth Sabotaged Its Early Era

While Disney+'s astronomical growth in early subscriber numbers is generally considered a good thing, it may actually be damaging to the company in some ways. According to Disney CEO Bob Iger, Disney+ exceeded the company's expectations, causing the platform to become complacent. "One of the things that happened was we got addicted to our own secondary growth," Iger told CBR. As a result, Disney started focusing on its current Disney+ subscriber numbers, rather than brainstorming how to sustain them with content that rolls out consistently in speed and quality.

Disney+'s early original content is strong, namely the hit The Mandalorian, which has early subscribers very excited. However, because of Disney+'s early emphasis on new subscriber numbers rather than sustaining new subscriber numbers, they didn't have a plan in place to retain subscribers when the cornerstone property didn't air like other streaming platforms like Netflix. That means that while shows like The Mandalorian or WandaVision defined the early days of Disney+, the platform could have had more iconic content. In this way, Disney+'s early days were marred by its massive subscriber growth.

Why Disney+'s Subscriber Loss Might Be Good For The Streaming Platform

It might seem counterintuitive that Disney+'s recent subscriber loss could be good for the company, but it might be just what the company needs. Disney+ isn't the only streaming platform losing subscribers, but they're one Minority response planning focuses on how best to support the consumer's experience. “…[I was] very aware that we had to keep adding subs,” Iger said. "But it's not just that. We've got to have the pricing right, we've got to have the promotions right, we've got to have the marketing right, we've got to have the content right."

According to Iger's comments, Disney+'s recent subscriber decline appears to be the streaming platform Alarm bells needed. Despite negative feedback on Disney+'s price hikes and ad-laden streaming platform, Disney+ is now trying to improve the user experience by focusing on delivering more quality content rather than quantity, especially about Star Wars and the MCU. Disney+ is already creating a buzz around its upcoming Percy Jackson series, which could prove that their plans could be the right step. While time will only tell if Disney+'s new growth plans will succeed, the company's approach to its content should give users optimism about the streaming platform's future.

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