Disney’s own streaming service, Disney+ is now fully up and running and fans are loving it. According to Disney, 10 million subscribers signed up on the first day, November 12, 2019, and Apptopia reports 22 million app downloads. The platform has an impressive lineup of Star Wars and Marvel films, Disney Channel TV shows and movies, classic Disney films, and brand new original content.
When it comes to what fans are watching on Disney+, Marvel movies are a big hit in the box office, but they aren’t the fan-favorite on the platform. Let’s take a look at what fans are watching most.
Disney+ users are loving classic Disney films
According to a national poll by Morning Consult and The Hollywood Reporter, 22 percent of Disney+ users are watching Disney classics (such as The Lion King and Mary Poppins) the most, more than any other type of content overall. Star Wars content, including the new original show The Mandalorian, come in a close second at 21 percent.
Marvel content, such as Iron Man 3 and Captain Marvel, falls behind at around 15 percent. It’s worth pointing out, the sample size of the survey is small, with just 496 participants subscribing to Disney+, so these numbers are not necessarily indicative of what the millions of viewers are watching, but they certainly do paint an interesting picture.
The survey doesn’t ask why users are watching what they watch, but it’d be safe to assume the classic Disney films are coming out on top because many of them haven’t appeared on other platforms such as Netflix or Hulu, while the same cannot be said of the Marvel or Star Wars films, many of which are still currently on other platforms.
That is changing now that Disney+ is around, however. New Marvel films will no longer make a stop at Netflix and will go instead to Disney+. Captain Marvel was the first of the Marvel films to skip Netflix.
There is a generational gap in what Disney+ users are watching
When you look at the survey numbers across generations, the most-watched content changes a bit.
Among the Generation Z (18-22) participants, Disney Channel content, such as Lizzie McGuire and Raven’s Home, and Pixar content, such as Toy Story and Coco, are most watched at 19 percent each. For Millennials (23-38) Disney classic films are the clear winner at 25 percent but for Generation X (39-54) its Star Wars content with 32 percent. Boomers (55-73) also watch Star Wars content most often at 26 percent.
No matter how the survey is divided, Marvel movies are not the most-watched for any demographic, at least for now.
Looking at the generational preferences, it seems nostalgia is a big factor for choices of content. Millennials may have also grown up with Disney Channel shows, but are a bit too old for it now, whereas Gen Z viewers aren’t yet. Gen X and Boomer viewers were around for the release of the original Star Wars films, so it’s no wonder they’d be drawn to that content.
What else did we learn about the Disney+ content?
When looking at the survey numbers, there were some clear categories that didn’t fair as well. Coming in last overall on most watched content was the original content by National Geographic and Disney+ at two percent each.
This includes the new holiday film Noelle and the show The World According to Jeff Goldblum. The Simpsons isn’t fairing much better, despite pushes to promote the show as a benefit of the platform, with just five percent of Disney+ users saying they watch it the most. The platform acquired The Simpsons to have something binge-able to offer viewers to compete with Netflix and Hulu, but it is a bit of an odd match for the rest of the Disney content.
Disney, like most other platforms, isn’t releasing any concrete numbers of its own, but they did pose the questions on Instagram, “What did you stream first?” Many fans commented that it was The Mandalorian, while the rest of the comments were a random assortment of other content such as Lizzie McGuire and The Lady and the Tramp. Whatever fans are watching, we can be sure Disney is paying close attention and is going to pull out all the stops to compete for viewers.