Disney Plus Using Social Media To Win Subs in Streaming Wars

Streaming Video On Demand Social Media BrandTotal
Disney Plus has the highest share of paid social media impressions in the SVOD category, (Image credit: BrandTotal)

When it comes to social media, Disney Plus is firing off the most ammunition among the competitors in the streaming wars, according to a new report.

BrandTotal, which analyzes social media, said that Disney Plus had nearly 30% of all paid social media impressions in the streaming VOD category over 90 days from June 23 to Sept. 20. 

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That topped AT&T’s HBO Max with 23%, Disney’s Hulu with 21%, Comcast’s Peacock with 16%, ViacomCBS’ Paramount Plus with 7%, Apple TV Plus with 2% and Netflix with 1%.

“Disney Plus won on paid share of voice, which speaks to their advantage with spend,” said Alon Leibovich, CEO & co-founder, BrandTotal. “They are prolific when it comes to paid advertising and social media is no exception.”

Disney Plus focused its social media advertising on younger audiences, with 58% of its impressions focused on the 18 to 24 year olds in Gen Z. Hulu was even more youth conscious with 68% of its impressions targeting that generation.

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"Younger audiences have migrated to streaming platforms more quickly than older audiences," said Leibovich. "The targeting is no surprise."

Among the social media used by streamers, YouTube was most popular, garnering 59% of all impressions among the seven streamers tracked in the report. YouTube was followed by Twitter with 32%, Facebook with 7% and Instagram with 2%. 

Peacock was the only streaming service that didn’t put most of its impressions on YouTube. Instead, it relied most heavily on Twitter. By contract 94% of Hulu’s paid impressions were on YouTube.

"Facebook-owned platforms were the least compelling for streamers," said Leibovich. "Instead, YouTube dominated, which makes sense given the video-first nature of the platform. Twitter was also a leader, which speaks to the surging value of video ads there."

BrandTotal’s Social Intelligence Competitive Snapshot: The Streaming Wars, analyzed all paid social advertising campaigns from Disney Plus, HBO Max, Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV Plus, Peacock, and Paramount Plus. The company was founded in 2016 and is funded by Ncapital Ventures, Flint Capital, NHN Investment, One Way Ventures, FJ Labs, Glilot Capital Partners, and Keshet Dick Clark Productions, along with early support from Microsoft Accelerator and Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator. 

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.