Disney+ to Step Up Targeting for Ad-Supported Plan, Adding Gender, Location to Age Data
It probably won’t surprise too many consumers to hear that advertisers are struggling right now. For a variety of complex reasons, advertisers just aren’t seeing the kind of revenues they’re used to generating. That’s a problem for media companies because many of them rely on money from advertisers to fund new content.
Disney is apparently trying to give advertisers a boost. According to a report from Media Post, Disney will be giving Disney+ advertisers access to the same suite of ad-targeting capabilities that Hulu currently uses. By July, Hulu’s ad-targeting tools will also be available on Disney’s third streaming service ESPN+.
Disney advertising president Rita Ferro discussed the upcoming changes earlier this week with Ernst & Young’s Janet Balis during an interview with LinkedIn.
Disney+ first launched an ad-supported streaming tier on Dec. 8, 2022. Since then, however, advertisers on the platform have been limited to broad, age-range-related ad targeting choices. Soon, they will be able to use Hulu tools that give a user’s age, gender, and geo-location for improved ad targeting.
That could be an issue for some Disney+ users, especially if it leads to similar ads being shown on Disney+ and Hulu. A survey from August 2022 showed that over 60% of Hulu users were either “kind of” or “very” annoyed by the commercials on the service’s ad-supported tier.
Fortunately, the new announcement from Disney doesn’t necessarily mean that Disney+ will be getting Hulu’s ads. Companies will likely continue to use each service to sell different products and show different commercials, as they both reach a distinct audience segment.
In fact, if users find themselves highly satisfied with the new ad experience on Disney+, it could even drive new users to the ad-supported plan. Disney has made a concerted effort to limit the number of ads it shows to four minutes per hour, and users can save $3 per month by choosing the $7.99 Basic plan over the $10.99 ad-free premium plan.
Unfortunately for Disney, the lower price and limited ads have thus far not led to the huge engagement numbers that the company was surely hoping for upon launch. The new ad-targeting capabilities that Disney+ will now have access to likely won’t drive huge numbers of new sign-ups, but they could help the company improve the experience of customers already using Disney+ Basic.
Ultimately, more effective ads will benefit both Disney and advertising agencies. Highly effective advertisements bring in more revenue for both companies, which allows Disney to invest more in content, and allows advertisers to show better-tailored and less irritating commercials.
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