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Disney+ Considering Adding Shopping, Gaming as Streaming Services Diversify

With streaming services increasingly expanding beyond just offering video content in an effort to stand out in a crowded landscape, Disney+ is reportedly exploring new categories.

As Rita Ferro, president of global advertising at The Walt Disney Company, told Variety, the company is considering launching gaming and shopping options on its streaming service.

Indeed, the opportunity for shopping integrations is there, according to PYMNTS Intelligence’s “How We Will Pay Report: How Connected Devices Enable Multitasking Among Digital-First Consumers,” which drew from a survey of more than 4,600 U.S. consumers.

The study found that one in three consumers would be interested in the following internet-connected buying experience: “You are watching your favorite livestreamed series on your iPad or mobile device, and you want to buy an item of clothing or piece of jewelry that you see on one of the actors in the series. You are able to touch the screen to go to the product page and make the purchase.”

Amazon, for its part, is already making moves towards this, offering recommendations of other products and services through its Prime Video X-Ray feature, which includes X-Ray shopping.

As far as gaming, meanwhile, Disney+ may have some competition in the streaming space. Netflix shared on an earnings call in October that it aims to parlay subscribers’ affinity for its films and series into video game engagement, circumventing gaming companies’ usual challenges in customer acquisition.

“We believe that we can build games into a strong content category, leveraging our current core film and series by connecting members, especially members that are fans of specific I.P.s, with games that they will love,” Netflix Co-CEO Greg Peters said at the time. “As we make those connections, … we’re essentially sidestepping the biggest issue that the mobile games market has today, which is how do you cost effectively acquire new players.”

With consumers having a wide range of streaming services to choose from, and forced to consider how many they can afford, moves of this kind can enable streaming services to make their offerings more indispensable. Additionally, for existing users, they can drive engagement, in turn can boosting retention.

Indeed, initiatives to prevent churn are key, with streaming subscribers tending to cancel their memberships when their budgets come under pressure. The PYMNTS Intelligence study “The One-Stop Bill Pay Playbook: Drivers of Consumers’ Bill Payment Priorities,” created in collaboration with Mastercard, which drew from a census-balanced survey of more than 2,100 U.S. consumers, found that when consumers are unable to pay all their bills, streaming subscriptions are the first to go.

In fact, 55% of consumers stated that they would cancel streaming subscriptions if they needed to reduce the bills they received each month, a greater share than said the same of any other service. In contrast, only 17% said they would prioritize paying their streaming subscription bills in full over other bills, a smaller share than said the same of any other monthly bill.

Consequently, by integrating new offerings, from video games to shopping opportunities, streaming services have the opportunity to make sure that, as consumers cut back, their subscriptions are not the first to get the axe.