Disney+ Strategy: Genius or Madness?

The Mandalorian

Disney+ launched to great fanfare (with a few technical glitches) and people are talking. There is the usual chatter about “a new service,” and the “transformation of the television business,” but something far more interesting is happening. People are talking about episode one of The Mandalorian and you know what they’re saying? “I can’t wait for episode two.”

This may not sound like a big deal, but think about this… if this were a Netflix show, most diehard Star Wars fans would already have binged the entire series. The conversations would have been concurrent with the conversations about the launch of the streaming service and in a week, it would just be a show you should watch if you subscribe.

Instead, Disney will window the release of The Mandalorian episodes. From my POV, this is brilliant. I’ll be talking about episodes, anticipating episodes, posting about episodes as they roll out. This is a behavior that almost every loyal Star Wars fan will exhibit. Disney can count on it. A slow rollout strategy will automatically promote the service at a much higher level than a massive episode drop ever could.

Now, there’s something else to think about. Netflix has more data about streaming media viewing habits than anyone. With all the data in their possession, they have just begun to test windowing. Is windowing at Disney just muscle memory? Is it a strategy? Did Netflix just miss the memo? Or, does Netflix know something Disney doesn’t?

Perhaps there are still some lessons from the traditional media business that still apply.


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Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and writes a popular daily business blog. He's a bestselling author, and the creator of the popular, free online course, Generative AI for Execs. Follow @shellypalmer or visit shellypalmer.com.



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