Rita Ferrer, president of Disney’s ad sales, says Disney +’s upcoming ad-supported level will have less “powerful” advertising than Hulu. This disparity, at least initially, will be mainly because about 65% of viewers on the streaming service are for movies, which do not lend themselves to commercial barriers.
“Movies are the reason people come to the platform, and the advertising load of movies is different,” he explained. The family-friendly nature of Disney + will also limit the scope of “four-fourths” advertisers. Disney hosted its upfront pitch to advertisers last evening, and with the exception of a brief teaser by CEO Bob Chapek at the outset, no specific offer was made about the level of advertising.
Speaking to Disney CFO Christine McCarthy at a conference hosted by Wall Street research firm Moffat Nathanson, Ferro said he plans to “slowly start” with 15- and 30-second spots before adding a full suite of advertising options to Disney +. Since announcing the ad-supported option earlier this year, he has said, “I can’t tell you what we need for it. That response has been overwhelming. “
In a wide-ranging session, which featured some notable commentary on theme parks and movie theaters from McCarthy, Pharaoh was asked about his reaction to new players coming into the AVOD game after moderator Michael Nathanson started it as a pure subscription. HBO Max just launched an ad-supported version last year and Netflix says it will do the same (an industrial shock that is still resonating) for next year or so.
Asked about the new crop, Ferro said, “I’m excited about every platform that wants to come into space, it’s not easy.”