Walt Disney Co.’s flagship streaming service will give subscribers the first chance to buy new toys and merchandise. This will test whether the company can expand Disney+ beyond movies and TV shows.
Starting Tuesday, subscribers can go to the company’s main shopping website or scan a QR code when viewing a “Shop this Story” section in the descriptions of programs on the streaming service. That will allow them to purchase items such as a light saber set tied to the hit show The Mandalorian and or a Black Panther collectible mask.
Disney expects the merchandise to be available for about seven days. A Disney+ subscription, which includes access to the company’s vast library of content, starts at $8 a month.
CEO Bob Chapek has said he wants to expand the company’s connection with its most loyal fans, offering exclusive video content and experiences tied to their interests. The company has been experimenting with various offers. That can include letting Disney+ subscribers into its theme parks early. It can also mean selling additional products such as a subscription to National Geographic magazine.
“I think you can wrap it all up in a bow with calling it the recognition and the advancement of Disney as a lifestyle brand,” Chapek said of his strategy in a September interview. “We’ve not really disclosed exactly what the business model’s gonna be. We’re still dreaming.”
Other Disney merchandise being offered in the test includes customizable T-shirts and sweatshirts featuring characters from the Frozen 2 and Lightyear films.
The Walt Disney Company Ltd. ranks No. 107 in the Top 1000, Digital Commerce 360’s database of the largest North American e-retailers by web sales.
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