After last year ditching its seven-day free trial in the U.S., Disney+ appears to have brought back the promotion albeit in a more limited capacity.
The service has apparently been sending out mailers directing customers to a page on the website where they can redeem an offer code. Emily Groch, director of insights, telecom competitive marketing at Comperemedia, spotted the mailer and her firm, which tracks and analyzes direct marketing efforts from various companies, estimated that Disney sent the offer to more than 500,000 U.S. households.
“One of the ways Disney+ differentiates its marketing strategy from other SVODs is by using direct mail--both for loyalty as well as for acquisition. In one of its recent mailers, Disney+ re-introduced its free, seven-day trial via a special offer code. Comperemedia estimates this mailer was sent to around half a million households, which could indicate that Disney+ is testing the market before expanding its free trial more broadly again,” Groch said.
The return of the seven-day free trial comes after last June Disney+ ended the deal for new subscribers in the U.S.
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"We continue to test and evaluate different marketing, offers and promotions to grow Disney Plus," the company said in a statement at the time. "The service was set at an attractive price-to-value proposition that we believe delivers a compelling entertainment offering on its own."
Disney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Earlier this week, Disney CEO Bob Chapek warned that Disney+ would see subscriber growth for the quarter ending in September in the low single-digit millions, compared with the 12 million subscribers the service added in the previous quarter.
He attributed the slowdown both domestically and internationally to headwinds with getting the service up and running in Latin America and reclaiming subscribers in India. He also said that Disney+ is feeling the impact of COVID-induced production delays but called the content delays “very short-term” and touted 61 new movies and 17 series in production from the studio.
“So, the supply chain is healthy just like we talked about last December, it's flowing, but the resurgence of COVID and Delta did impact some of our productions, so that we've got a lighter product quarter in Q4 than we might have expected,” said Chapek during a Goldman Sachs investor conference, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript. “All to say, again, we are very bullish and confident about our long-term sub growth, but we are going to see a little bit more noise than I think maybe the Street expects in terms of our ultimate projections quarter-to-quarter.”