Disney+ is looking to introduce even more consumers and brands to the wonderful world of advertising in 2024.
It’s been a big first year for Disney+’s ad tier, with the streaming plan increasing user engagement 35% from March to September 2023 and 50% of new Disney+ sign-ups heading to the ads plan, according to Rita Ferro, the company’s global ads president.
“People don’t mind watching ads when you have good advertising and a good advertising experience,” Ferro told Adweek.
The company is focused on improving that advertising experience as it forges ahead with its global expansion, rolling out in nine markets in Europe and Canada in early November and growing to include 1,000 advertisers around the world.
“The learnings we had in the U.S. on how adoption happens when a new platform launches and the importance of how advertising shows up in that experience—managing the number of partners we work with over time and getting that right—the feedback has really been strong in terms of how we delivered it versus other platforms in the market,” Ferro said.
With the ad tier’s first year in the books, Ferro spoke to Adweek about the streaming and TV priorities in 2024 and beyond.
More innovative ad formats and tools
After launching Disney+’s ad tier with relatively basic ad formats, the company expanded its offerings in 2023, now including everything from midrolls to :90s to select content sponsorships.
For Ferro, more ad innovation and capabilities are top of mind heading into the new year.
“The notion around ad innovation is critical for us going forward,” Ferro said. “As we think about what brands are looking for, they want the tools to be able to unify audiences and simplify the process of buying media. They want to be able to buy total audience and demonstrate de-duplicated reach.”
Another innovation helping the ad tier, the company launched its Hulu on Disney+ beta offering to bundle subscribers in early December, which Ferro noted will let clients buy audiences across Hulu and Disney+ all in one place. Though a full integration is coming in March, Ferro said the company was “seeing better than expected metrics [for advertisers] across the board” in just the initial days since launch.