Disney+ will be launching a new advertising-based video-on-demand (AVOD) tier later this year to increase subscriber numbers. The Walt Disney Corporation has announced that the new, cheaper ad-supported tier on Disney+ bans alcohol commercials when it launches.
The AVOD Disney+ will also not sell airtime for ads from political groups and rival outlets or entertainment studios like Netflix, Amazon, or Apple.
Disney+ includes some of the most beloved and watched brands including Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel, and National Geographic. It recorded 138 million streaming subscribers at the end of the first quarter of 2022. Disney+ hopes to increase its subscribers to 230-240 million by the end of 2024.
The streaming service specifically protects children from advertising exposure in its AVOD launch. No advertisements will be aired on kids profiles. These profiles have controls blocking most of the Disney+ library and highlighting specific content for younger viewers. Parental-Controls restricted profiles will run advertisements except for shows which are for pre-schoolers.
Walt Disney Corporation will only run 4 minutes’ worth of ads within an hour on the new AVOD Disney+. This is much less advertising than NBCUniversal’s Peacock and Hulu.
Recently, the Parents Television Council (PTC) condemned Disney+ for adding the Marvel Defenders series to the platform due to its mature audience ratings.
Positive decision by Disney+ to protect children from alcohol commercials on new ad-supported tier
The decision by Walt Disney Co to ban alcohol commercials on the new ad-supported tier shows the company’s commitment to protecting children. Alcohol advertising exposure by children causes serious the harm. Research shows being exposed to alcohol ads is directly linked to subsequent alcohol use by children.
Alcohol content and imagery on original films on video-on-demand services is a major problem. For example, one study found that alcohol content appeared in almost half of the coded intervals in both Amazon Prime and Netflix original films in the United Kingdom (UK). This type of product placement and imagery is specifically harmful because viewers might not even perceive it as advertising. Thus, this kind of alcohol content and imagery adds to the pervasive alcohol norm by depicting the use of alcohol products as part of social culture.