The news: Disney is considering a membership program similar to Amazon Prime that would give subscribers access to discounts and exclusive perks for its streaming service, theme parks, merchandise, and resorts, per The Wall Street Journal.
The entertainment company is also looking to introduce commerce features to its Disney+ service before the end of the year.
The Prime playbook: Disney is the latest company to see Amazon’s enormously successful Prime program as a blueprint for driving sales and maximizing engagement. Amazon has used Prime to accelerate its flywheel of commerce, media, and advertising, which has enabled the giant to maintain its ecommerce dominance.
Disney+’s commerce tie-in: By contrast, adding in-app commerce capabilities to Disney+ gives the entertainment company the opportunity to grow incremental revenues from subscribers. It’s also a chance to make money off users who otherwise wouldn’t engage with Disney’s other product offerings.
Following social commerce trends: The planned shopping features resemble those implemented by TikTok and Instagram. Combined with data from “Prime” memberships, the features will help Disney bump up its average revenue per user (ARPU)—and also open up interesting possibilities down the line.
Will it work? With Disney+ preparing to roll out its ad-supported tier, it’s no surprise Disney is looking to collect as much data as it can about its customers. But a membership program like the one Disney is reportedly pursuing will have limited appeal to anyone who isn’t a superfan—unless it’s able to layer in significant perks from third parties.
Looking forward: If Disney wants its new memberships to make an impact, it will have to excite more consumers than just its already devoted fans. Meanwhile, its in-app shopping tools are likely to pique the interest of advertisers and retailers alike looking to partner with the Disney brand.
This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence’s Retail & Ecommerce and Marketing & Advertising Briefings—daily recaps of top stories reshaping the retail and advertising industries. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.
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