The power of PR - £10bn (if you're Disney)
One day after launching the much anticipated Disney+ streaming service, The Walt Disney Company announced there had been more than 10 million sign-ups. They haven't said how many of those are on free trials but blamed day one glitches with the service on "consumer demand" that "exceeded our highest expectations." Disney executives had said they projected Disney+ to reach "between 60 million and 90 million global subscribers by 2024," according to The Hollywood Reporter. Based on how well the initial launch has gone, those numbers are likely to be eclipsed in the next four years.
This PR tactic to underplay expectations and then smash them come launch is tried and tested and, providing you do actually exceed expectations, it works exceedingly well. Apple does it with every product launch, as there always seems to be a shortfall due to consumer demand, which creates a frenzy to buy the latest iPhone. Now Disney is employing the same tactics to promote their new streaming service and you can see the effect just from their stock price - a rise of 7.3% in a single day. Based on the company's estimated net worth, that's the equivalent of around $10bn.
Had the service's glitches been handled badly by the company's PR team, that share price could have gone crashing down. There were, of course, negative reports about the issues consumers were facing when trying to watch Disney's new shows, such as The Mandalorian, but this has been spun into a yarn about the company not anticipating the weight of demand. Well played, Disney's PR reps. Well played.