Disney+ conducted its first-ever live streaming test in the United States this morning, hinting at upcoming improvements to the on-demand subscription television service. Instead of tackling a large event for the test, the business broadcasted a livestream of the 94th Academy Awards nominations, hosted by actor-comedian Leslie Jordan and actor-producer Tracee Ellis Ross. The ceremony was also broadcast live on Disney’s Hulu, ABC News Live, and the Academy Awards’ numerous owned channels, such as Oscars.com and others. Because not all event watchers were tuned in to one platform to watch, this broader distribution helped to alleviate the pressure on Disney+.
The firm wouldn’t say what kind of precise plans it had for livestreaming on Disney+ in the future, but it did say it wants to see what kind of live content it could have on the site. According to a spokesman, Disney is pleased with the results so far and expects to continue testing this type of experience in the future. “With this morning’s Academy Award nominations, we ran a test for livestreaming possibilities on Disney+ in the United States.” “We are delighted with the results and will continue to test as part of our continuing and iterative approach to delivering the best consumer experiences,” a Disney spokesman told TechCrunch.
Despite the fact that Disney already has numerous streaming services where it can stream live content, such as Hulu with Live TV and ESPN+, there are some clues that the firm may be considering bringing live sports into Disney+ in the United States.
For example, the URL https://www.disneyplus.com/espn/details/sport-event/ was recently added to the DisneyPlus.com sitemap, according to one spotter. They speculated that this could be a hint that Disney is developing a scheme that would provide ESPN viewers faster access to sports through the Disney+ experience. Furthermore, because the Disney+ Hotstar service in India already includes live sports, it would not be surprising if Disney considered a similar offering in the United States.
However, as today’s test demonstrates, livestreaming isn’t confined to live sports. There are a number of live events that Disney could stream, including ones that are already being cross-streamed on Hulu or those that would be more directly appealing to Disney fans, such as a stream from its big fan gathering, the D23 Expo. The addition of live programming could also help the service appeal to a wider audience at a time when its rapid expansion has slowed.
Disney+ customers climbed by 2.1 million to 118.1 million in Q4 2021, from 103.6 million in Q2 2021 to 116 million in Q3. The latter’s subscriber additions fell short of Wall Street’s forecasts, sending the stock down shortly after its most recent earnings report in November. Nonetheless, Disney CEO Bob Chapek stated that the company’s aim of 230-260 million Disney+ customers by 2024 remains on pace. On February 9th, Disney will release its Q1 2022 earnings.