As Disney prepares to unveil its first original content from the Star Wars Universe since buying Lucasfilm in 2012, it’s doing so via its three Disney Channel streaming apps, as I wrote at Quartz.
“It’s critical for us to make sure we’re on the platforms the kids are consuming content on. And we’re learning, the size of the screen doesn’t really matter, it’s the content that matters most,” Lauren DeVillier, Vice President of Digital Media at Disney Channels Worldwide, told Quartz. “There’s a lot of repeat viewing with kids content; they’ll watch the same episode a thousand times. So especially with that audience, it’s an opportunity to be on the platforms they’re on.”
While the Disney streaming apps are getting more popular each year, 94 percent of the Disney Channel audience still watch via live TV or DVR.
Disney is using Star Wars to drive people to its streaming apps
Viewers are taking longer than ever to watch TV shows, but when it comes to news series, networks don’t have the luxury of waiting several days or weeks for audiences to sample them and decide whether or not they want to see more. That’s why the pilots for several new series are being released weeks and even months before they premiere. As I wrote at Quartz,
Broadcast networks insist that they now program year-round (and indeed, have been doing just that), but almost all of their biggest shows still debut during the same two-week period in late September and early October. This makes it especially brutal for new shows to find an audience, so the online premieres gives viewers an early opportunity to sample them and, the networks hope, get hooked and start spreading the word before the shows enter the TV equivalent of Thunderdome.
I question whether viewers who watch and like the A to Z pilot will still be interested when the show actually premieres in October, but until the broadcast networks stop premiering all their fall shows in the same two week period, they’ll need all the help they can get.
TV is no longer where TV series premiere