Disney’s streaming service a hit with viewers

November 20, 2019

Last week was a big one for Walt Disney Co., whose launch of the Disney+ streaming service surpassed expectations.

Disney (NYSE: DIS) added 10 million subscribers on the first day, sending its shares – and helping send the Dow Jones Industrial Average – to new highs.

Ten million subscribers in one day is impressive, even though it is unknown how many of them are on free trials or paying U.S. $6.99 a month. That introductory rate is about half the cost of Netflix.

Netflix dominates streaming services with 157 million subscribers worldwide. But given that many analysts didn’t expect Disney to hit the 10 million mark until year end, the service is off to a good start.

Disney+ is available in Canada and includes all of Disney’s family-friendly content and most of its mass-audience fare – films and TV shows made for audiences up to a PG-13 rating. The menu includes Disney proper, Marvel, Lucasfilm (Star Wars), Pixar and National Geographic. It also mines Disney classics.

The available material includes such blockbusters as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Disney’s highest grossing film, adjusted for inflation. Snow White was first released in 1937, more than 80 years ago and has been re-released many times since.

Disney’s top five grossing films including Snow White are: Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015; 101 Dalmations, first released in 1961, The Lion King, in 1994 and Fantasia in 1940.

Disney’s successful launch is an example of its enduring brand power. In any market, language and currency, the movies resonate with audiences. Viewers know they will get animated and live action creations, with family-friendly, uplifting messages. They leave the theatre feeling good. The brand is easily recognized in each market and audiences can be assured of the same quality everywhere. The consistency encourages loyalty and Disney’s brand power.

Disney is a top holding of the Harvest Portfolios Group’s Harvest Brand Leaders Plus Income ETF (TSX: HBF, HBF.U).

As of Oct. 31, 2019, the ETF held 20 global brand leaders who are the dividend elite, with an average portfolio dividend yield of 2% and a current distribution yield of 6.93%. Harvest uses a covered call strategy to generate the extra income.  The ETF’s management fee is 0.75%.

For more on  Harvest ETF’s click here.

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