Disney on Tuesday launched a “limited test” providing access to themed merchandise from popular Disney+ shows and films for subscribers to Disney+, with access to the sale available through the streaming app.
The launch follows an earlier announcement from The Walt Disney Co. that it would be providing subscribers with special access to a curated collection of merch.
The items range from themed clothing with modest price tags of $100 and under to light saber collectibles priced up to $400. The collection will ago on sale in regular retail stores next week.
The products feature characters from movies and series, including the “Star Wars,” “Black Panther” and other Marvel franchises, along with “Frozen 2” and “Lightyear.”
Disney+ president Alisa Bowen said in a statement the launch is the latest example of the company experimenting with Disney+, which the company has previously said it had about 45 million customers in North America and over 152 million worldwide at the end of June. Updated numbers are expected next week when Disney reports its fiscal fourth quarter. The company has forecast it will have between 135 million and 165 million core Disney+ subscribers by 2024, which is when the service is expected to turn a profit.
“We’re excited to collaborate with shopDisney to explore how we can potentially better serve our audiences by expanding the ways they get to interact with the stories and characters they love on Disney+,” added Naveen Seshadri, Disney’s EVP Global Retail. “By providing our Disney+ subscribers special access to curated merchandise on shopDisney, we are uncovering new ways for our fans to shop and further connect content and commerce.”
The merch is available both through a dedicated page on the shopping website and in a “Shop” tab within the details pages for the movies and series on the streaming service, for U.S. subscribers verified as 18 and older. The pages will alert for eligible users about the special access, and users will receive a QR code to scan to reach the exclusive shopDisney section.
The effort reflects Disney’s hopes to both sign up new subscribers as growth slows across the industry, and find ways to keep existing customers from exiting the service.
Churn is low, CEO Bob Chapek said during an investment conference in September, in part because of low-cost subscriber bundles with Disney+ and Hulu.
As Disney aims to unseat Netflix as the leading streaming service, Chapek is eyeing Comcast’s portion of Hulu as the landscape for streaming becomes ever more competitive. It has not made clear whether it would combined its three separate platforms, which include ESPN, but the CEO said prices are likely to rise in 2024.