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Disney Buying Television Ads to Boost Disney Plus Sub Total

'WandaVision' will debut on Disney Plus on Jan. 15
Disney Plus subscribers are streaming 'WandaVision' (Image credit: Disney Plus)

The Walt Disney Co., which reported that it has more than 100 million paying Disney Plus subscribers, has been boosting its advertising spending to attract and retain customers.

According to MediaRadar, ad spending for Disney Plus was up 158% in January and February compared to a year ago. 

The vast majority of the money--96%--is going to national television. Disney has shifted 13% of its digital spending supporting Disney Plus to national TV since last year. 

Disney owns ABC and a bunch of cable networks including ESPN.

From December 2019 to February of 2020, Disney Plus spent an average of $6.2 million per month on national television and digital ads, MediaRadar said.

The increase comes as Disney lapped its original deal offering Disney Plus free to Verizon customers.

“There was some concern that the original Verizon subscribers who received Disney+ as a free sign-on would have low renewal rates. That may yet come to pass for some minority of subscribers, but the big picture is that Disney Plus is performing much stronger than the company, or analysts, had ever predicted.”

Disney Plus has also been helped by interest in some of its original programming, including The Mandalorian and WandaVision.

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.