Can Hamilton Re-ignite Disney+?
Disney launched its streaming service, Disney+ to huge fan acclaim. Not only had the entertainment company included all its massively popular blockbuster movies such as the Marvel Universe and Pixar Studios, they cracked open the fabled “Disney Vault” and gave fans their pick of many beloved Disney classics, some of which were tough to find anywhere else.
In addition to that launch of previously produced content, Disney gave fans new shows and movies, including the wildly popular Star Wars universe series The Mandalorian. From there, though, some of the Disney magic wore off. Fans still loved the content, but with few truly new and unique offerings, Disney+, while still popular, was not able to maintain all of its momentum.
Not that anyone should count Disney out. The company seems to always know exactly what its customers want to see and hear, which makes the streaming service’s latest addition a very intriguing choice… Hamilton is coming to Disney+. The hugely popular, Tony Award-winning Broadway show has played to packed houses, sold out months in advance, from when it opened in 2015, right up until it Broadway closed due to concerns about COVID-19. Now, it’s coming to Disney+… at least in recorded format. Critics have predicted it will be tough to gauge whether or not this move will be a win for Disney, given that viewership numbers for streaming services are kept very quiet.
There’s no doubt Hamilton fans are going to watch, and they are definitely going to tell their friends. Chatter on social media may well be a decent way to gauge interest outside of actual viewership numbers. If people are talking about Hamilton, and they keep talking about Hamilton on Disney+, then it’s likely going to be a good result for Disney. That result will ultimately be measured more in “new subscribers” than in any other metric.
Disney, while offering fans who signed up early a good value, hasn’t added too much new original content since its inception. While Hamilton isn’t original, it’s certainly a proven draw, and it could be the incentive some fans need to add Disney streaming to their list or to replace another streaming service they’re not watching as much.
Looking at new subscribers, measured against those who came for Hamilton and chose to stay for Disney’s other streaming content, will tell the long story of whether or not the investment the company made was worth it. In the meantime, it’s an easy bet that a lot of current Disney+ customers will be happy to see something new next time they log in.