Disney is trying to remain uncontroversial with its ad-supported streaming option by indicating that it will reject commercials about alcohol and politics, a new report from Variety says.
The popular Disney+ streaming service will soon offer a new, cheaper option for potential subscribers like so many competitors have. However, the topic of ad content has come up during an industry event this week, the publication noted.
Variety reported two media buyers with knowledge of recent discussions between the company and advertising agencies are “wary of overwhelming the streaming outlet with a glut of ads that might obscure the service’s family-friendly environment.”
Those execs further explained that Disney+ decision-makers already indicated that they would refuse to offer alcohol or political advertising at the launch. They also won’t be accepting ads from competitors such as other big studios seeking to promote their exclusive movies and programming.
Variety noted that Disney executives declined to make executives available for comment. It reported on how media buyers mentioned being surprised on the ad restrictions but said it could create a higher demand for commercial space by driving up scarcity.
A person with knowledge of the plan said ads on Disney+ will run an average of four minutes per hour or less, meaning the network will have fewer ads per hour than NBC Universal’s Peacock. That streaming service promised no more than 5 minutes of commercials per 60 minutes. HBO Max has the same amount as Disney+ proposed with four minutes of ads every hour.
Disney has been limiting commercials on channels for children all along, the publication noted, saying the Disney Channel only accepts sponsorship messages that tie the product being pitched the network’s shows. Disney Junior has an even younger audience as its target demographic and usually doesn’t have any commercials.
Last week Disney CEO Bob Chapek said the company will continue to raise prices for Disney+ subscribers who do not sign up for the cheaper ad-based tier, according to CNET.
Chapek said the ad tier would allow the company to reach “an even more broad audience.”
It shouldn’t be too surprising that Disney is hesitant to run political ads. The company is still dealing with fallout from getting involved in legislation earlier this year by taking a public stance on Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill.
After the company publicly opposed the bill, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis declared that “Disney is a guest in Florida” and signed legislation to end the Reedy Creek Improvement District, a 39-square-mile special governing and tax district that allowed Disney to avoid certain state taxes and regulations, according to previous reporting by The Daily Wire.
(Disclosure: The Daily Wire has announced plans for kids entertainment content.)