Disney is investigating an Amazon Prime-style membership program, as first reported by The Wall Street Journal. The program may offer various exclusive benefits, discounts, and other enticements for subscribers to spend more on Disney products and services. A secondary benefit would be that the company can gather more information about customer tastes and habits, making it better able to cross-sell between its various businesses – from streaming services to theme parks to merchandise.
According to the WSJ, the discussion about the membership program is still in its infancy. It’s not clear what segments of Disney’s audience it would target, how much it would cost, or when the program might launch. Internally, some executives have referred to the project as “Disney Prime,” although that would not be the program’s name at launch.
Kristina Schake, Disney’s chief communications officer, confirmed that the company is investigating a membership program in a statement to the WSJ. “Technology gives us new ways to customize and personalize the consumer experience so that we can deliver entertainment, experiences and products that are most relevant to all of our guests,” said Schake. “A membership program is just one of the exciting ideas being explored.”
Disney already offers some sort of membership program: the D23 fan club, which costs $99.99 per year for one person or $129.99 for two (the “23” refers to the year Disney was founded: 1923). Benefits include the ability to purchase exclusive merchandise, a quarterly subscription Disney twenty three magazine, and discounted tickets to the D23 Expo, which bills itself as the “ultimate Disney fan event.” However, the proposed membership program would be aimed at more casual fans, according to the WSJ.
A key benefit of a “Disney Prime” membership program would be that the company can target customers with more of its products. In a recent earnings call, Disney CEO Bob Chapek referred to the company’s “franchise flywheel” and its ability to “reach people with our uniquely engaging content through a series of touchpoints.” In other words, Disney owns a lot of content, from miracle until Star Wars to Pixar and more; it has a streaming service, theme parks, resorts, and is even building its own residential communities. Why not bundle more of this together and let people For real life disney.