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A PR Fairy Tale: Disney+

Published on November 25, 2019, at 10:10 p.m.
by Heather Griffith.

On Nov. 12, 2019, Disney launched its much-anticipated streaming service: Disney+. Fans were thrilled by the opportunity to watch their childhood favorite TV shows and classic Disney movies, but that excitement came to a crashing halt when the streaming service faced several glitches during its first day.

Courtesy of Disney+

According to Disney, the platform received 10 million new subscribers, significantly more subscribers than Disney anticipated. Unfortunately, this high number of subscribers led to most of the glitches Disney+ faced on launch day.

Of course, many subscribers turned to Twitter to express their frustrations. Users tweeted their struggles with logging in, viewing new titles and switching profiles, among many other problems. Most people anticipated that this hiccup would dampen the excitement and create a PR disaster — but Disney+ survived the launch-day Twitter storm just fine.

While the average company would have struggled to stay afloat through a rocky beginning, like the one Disney+ faced, Disney rode out the waves as well as Moana does. Thanks to Disney’s impeccable branding, which has created an incredibly strong fan base, the company was able to come out with an overwhelmingly positive response.

Disney+ experienced a significant spike in social media mentions on launch day, resulting in a 2,300% increase above the daily media, according to PRWeek. Surprisingly, “the conversation on the day of the launch was 70% positive.”

Photo by Thomas Kelley on Unsplash

Most of Disney’s PR surrounding the launch of Disney+ was organic. The Walt Disney Company created a Twitter account for the streaming service and used that as the primary source of information for audiences in the months leading up to the launch. Through this platform, Disney created a buzz among its already-strong fan base without having to rely on media pitches.

The Walt Disney Company created something that is already becoming a streaming staple in homes around the world. It knew its audiences well enough to create a service that they not only wanted to have, but felt they needed to have — so much so that they crashed the site on launch day. Memes and Twitter trends have already begun developing around Disney+ and will surely keep the streaming service relevant in the upcoming weeks.

Disney has always had a way of crossing generations and bringing people together, but thanks to Disney+, it can now do that in the average American home, bringing with it the magic of the Disney universe.

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