Taylor Swift on Disney+ Could Spark a Surge in New Signups

The Taylor Swift feature film Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions is set to be released on Wednesday. Could this be another surge in Disney+ subscription signups?
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Disney+  (DIS) - Get Report said that it will be streaming Taylor Swift’s film Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions on Wednesday, Disney+ wrote in a tweet.

The feature film is composed of songs from her latest album Folklore which is anticipated news for the American singer’s fan-base, but will it lead to a surge in new signups for Disney+?

Earlier this month, Disney said that it is considering moving its planned cinematic releases to its streaming effort Disney+ instead of in theaters as Covid-19 cases rise, according to media reports.

The movie includes live-action Disney classic adaptations that were scheduled for release, such as "Cruella," "Pinocchio" and "Peter Pan and Wendy," according to Deadline.

Disney+ subscriptions grew to 73.7 million as of October. The growth is attributed to the "Star Wars" spinoff series "The Mandalorian" and the Disney+ release of "Mulan," according to Deadline.

In July, Disney+ debuted Black is King, a feature film composed of music videos from the Lion King’s soundtrack album The Gift by Beyoncé, pushing up viewers’ expectations about Disney, according to Variety.

Beyoncé’s Black is King looks into societal conversations around racism and the visual celebration of Black culture through history, according to Variety, which is new to Disney+.

Diversifying its content on its streaming platform, Disney+ has been boosting its subscriber base in efforts to keep viewers from different age groups interested and compensate for the losses caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Its strategy to charge fees for early film premier access came after the closure of theaters due to COVID-19 which drove streaming services up with over 56% of Americans saying that they steam content now at a higher rate than before the pandemic, according to a TransUnion survey released in June.

This new approach of boosting Disney+ sign-ups is also helping Disney manage its future during the pandemic as it struggled with the 28,000 layoffs at Disney’s theme park division in September. In the first three months of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Burbank, Calif., entertainment profits dropped 91%.

When the streaming service delivered the musical film Hamilton in July, a wave of app downloads sparked during the weekend the film premiered. The Disney+ app was downloaded 752,451 times worldwide, 60% of which were in the U.S., according to analytics firm Apptopia.

Films such as Hamilton and Black is King are “bridges” into new content that has not been part of Disney’s long history, Jacqueline Coley, an editor at meta-critic site Rotten Tomatoes told Variety.

"Disney+ should focus more on serving a growing brand of 50 million subscribers rather than working on what fits its model if they want to develop as a moral global entertainment brand," she said.

In September, Disney+ said it is releasing Mulan for a $29.99 fee plus the Disney+ monthly subscription fee.

The theatrical live-action was delayed twice before the September 4 release date was announced, causing a spike in Disney+ app downloads by 68% compared to the prior weekend, according to Yahoo Finance.

Viewer spending also increased by 193%, according to Yahoo, which was mainly attributed to the $30 fee paid to watch Mulan.

Disney recently reported its fourth-quarter results that topped analyst expectations, showing strong growth in its streaming businesses.

The company posted an adjusted net loss of 20 cents a share on revenue of $14.71 billion. Analysts were expecting a loss of 71 cents a share on revenue of $14.28 billion.

Disney’s direct-to-consumer and international revenue jumped 41% year-over-year to $4.9 billion.

When it first launched Disney+, the company stated that it aimed to reach 60 million to 90 million subscribers by 2024.