Disney+ Subs Get Early Access to Exclusive Holiday Shopping

The Walt Disney Company has begun mixing-in shopping opportunities among Disney+ streaming content. U.S. subscribers with Disney+ profiles verified as 18 and older will have first crack at new products from franchises including “Frozen,” “Star Wars” and “Black Panther.” Included among the items are a light saber ($250 to $400) and apparel ($27 to $100). After the limited Disney+ window closes on November 8 the goods will be made available to the general public for purchase. Disney is reportedly also considering an experiment with early access to new theme park rides.

“The days of easy growth are over,” writes The New York Times, expressing what’s on the minds of executives at Disney+ and most streaming companies. “Disney must work harder to sign up new subscribers and find ways to keep current ones from canceling, especially with a possible recession on the horizon.” NYT adds.

The company has said Disney+ has about 45 million paid households in North America. Worldwide, Disney+ is said to have this year surpassed the 150 million subscriber mark, a sizable jump from 115 million in 2021.

Disney has already made hotel discounts part of the Disney+ experience. This latest offering of a “curated collection of merchandise for the upcoming holiday season” is part of the ongoing effort “to improve the user experience” while emphasizing the value of being a Disney+ subscriber, Disney+ president Alisa Bowen said in an announcement.

To purchase the exclusive first-look merchandise, Disney+ subscribers will open a shop tab on the details pages of select movies, series and shorts on Disney+. There, a QR code can be scanned taking users to shopDisney.com for ordering and checkout.

“Alternatively, they’ll be able to visit a special URL … if they want a more traditional online shopping experience,” TechCrunch writes. Among the collectible items in the promotion are the Darksaber Legacy Set from “The Mandalorian,” a signed Ahsoka Tano special edition doll, a cloak from “Doctor Strange,” and a “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” artist series jacket.

Meanwhile, Variety reports that Netflix and Walmart are taking what was initially an online-only marketing partnership into the real world, with the streamer’s merchandise and gift cards gaining placement in the entertainment departments of more than 2,400 brick-and-mortar Walmart locations for the 2022 holiday season. The streamer (which also has a deal with Target) in 2021 launched the Netflix Hub at Walmart.com.

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