One year after arriving in the US, Disney+ finally landed on Brazilian ground, one of the most competitive markets in the streaming business and described by Disney itself as the largest one in Latin America. With those superlative words comes a considerable challenge as well: how the service will compete with Netflix and its everlasting first place? Well, there’s not an exact recipe for that, but let’s state some crucial moves that will probably be on Mickey’s mind in Brazil.
The first thing, and maybe one that’s already one of the company’s main problems, is the number of new releases they will have in 2021 on a monthly basis. The brand caught the audience’s attention for sure, and it will bring a lot of people to its subscription base almost automatically. But how to keep these subs there? For now, we can say: following Netflix strategy. That is, releasing lots of new series and shows seasons week after week. What keeps someone faithful to a VOD service are the releases, not the brand or a few quality productions. The combination of those two things is the perfect but distant scenario.
After more than a year on the market, Disney+ is already known for its good catalog, but also for the lack of new releases. Is it worth it to pay an annual plan to watch Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, and Disney movies over and over again? Barely.
It’s vital to have that pace on new shows, and Disney knows that. They’ve already announced more than five Marvel shows, at least three Star Wars new series, and Pixar keeps doing new stuff for the service, as well as National Geographic. Simultaneously, as the company mentioned to LABS, they are preparing original shows for Brazil, which will help on the second and most important challenge of their journey in the country: localization.
The rise of Netflix in Brazil happened not only because of its timing or amazing shows released throughout the years. The company understood that Brazilians love the internet, that they are heavy digital consumers, and love brands that talk and act like them in that environment.
Embracing this requires a freedom that most companies of Disney’s size and history – almost centenary enterprises led by old white men – do not have, and that is understandable. This new business – the streaming and internet business – does not allow that distance from reality, even if it’s for the sake of it. You gotta go there, be local, talk like a local, think like a local, produce movies, and show like a local. With that in mind, maybe things will change and we’ll see a market really challenging Netflix domain.