The Force is with Disney+

January 7, 2020

The launch of the Disney+ streaming service has been a huge success. The service was launched in November 2019 and signed up 10 million customers on its first day. Just a few weeks later, Disney+ gave a taste of its programming to come with a series called The Mandalorian, which is a spin-off of its Star Wars franchise. The show was an instant hit.  The main character is a bounty hunter from the planet of the same name. He is sent to find a character that social media quickly dubbed “Baby Yoda” after the iconic Star Wars character. A cottage industry of knockoff merchandise was quickly on sale before Disney could stock its own shelves. Disney caught up and shirts, bags, mugs, and phone cases, were available online and at its stores before Christmas. Sales were brisk. Each episode promotes the current show, upcoming shows and cross promotes other Disney fare, the new Star Wars movie, itself a big screen hit. The episodes keep viewer attention with new material and point viewers to its library and new movies.  The merchandise is an additional source of revenue and constantly reminds purchasers of the programs.    The marketing surrounding The Mandalorian shows how Disney plans to leverage its vast library. Several Marvel comic spin off series are in the works for Disney+. There is also a vast library of family-friendly content and mass-audience fare it can promote. The menu includes Disney proper, Marvel, Lucasfilm (Star Wars), Pixar and National Geographic. There are also Disney classics such blockbusters as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Disney’s highest grossing film, adjusted for inflation.  The successful launch of Disney+ is an example of its enduring brand power. In any market, language and currency, the movies and merchandise resonate with audiences. The content is always family-friendly and carries a positive message which leaves audiences wanting to come back for more.  Disney is a top holding of the Harvest Portfolio Group’s Harvest Brand Leaders Plus Income ETF (TSX: HBF). As of Dec. 31, 2019, the ETF held 20 global brand leaders who are the dividend elite, with an average portfolio dividend yield of 1.87% and a current distribution yield of 6.6%. The distribution is enhanced through the Harvest covered call strategy. The ETF’s top holdings by sector are Information Technology (30%), Financials (15%), Consumer Discretionary (15%), Consumer Staples (10%) and Communication Services (9%).   The ETF’s management fee is 0.75% and distributions are paid monthly. For more on  Harvest ETF’s click here. The views and/or opinions expressed in the blog are of a general nature and are for informational purposes only. Blog contents should not be considered as advice and/or a recommendation to purchase or sell the mentioned securities or used to engage in personal investment strategies. Investors should consult their investment advisor before making any investment decision.            

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