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Disney+’s Family-Friendly Focus Defeats Netflix For Most Watched Movies in 2020

Photo courtesy of Kon Karampelas via Unsplash

Disney+’s Family-Friendly Focus Defeats Netflix For Most Watched Movies in 2020

By Movieguide® Staff

Streaming companies jockeyed throughout 2020 for the top spot, but Disney+’s family-friendly content edged out Netflix.

According to Nielson data, Disney+’s viewer base makes up 6% of the average amount of time consumers spent streaming in December. Netflix is still the most popular streaming service, but data showed that it declined from 31% to 28%, Nielsen said.

Although Netflix remained in the lead in the series and original series categories, Disney+ dominated competitors when it came to movies.

Out of Neilson’s list of top 10 movies, seven were from Disney+, and only three came from Netflix. Furthermore, eight of the ten movies were animated, geared towards families, and contained uplifting and family-friendly content. 

The 2020 list included a range of movies from the Disney+ catalog, including newer movies like FROZEN II and ONWARD and older selections such as MOANA and ZOOTOPIA

Moreover, out of the three Netflix movies to make the list, the family-oriented SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2 took the top spot. 

“Kids are watching those movies over and over and over again,” Brian Fuhrer, a senior vice president at Nielson, said. “Kids movies have a tremendous value of repeat viewing. Consumers and subscribers derive value over and over again because people will keep going with ‘Moana’ and other kids movies.”

The Neilson data points to what Movieguide® has said all along; movies with positive morals and family-friendly content perform stronger than movies with immoral content.  

Netflix has recognized their lack of content for children and said that they plan to invest more money into their family-friendly content to compete with Disney+.  

In 2020, the validity of streaming platforms and their market were on full display. People spent more time watching movies at home than ever before, and by and large, they spent their time watching family-friendly movies. Many analysts predict that 2021 will be an even bigger year for streaming as the box office’s future is still in question. 

“COVID has definitely been the tipping point for OTT adoption … but I think along with that comes a savvier consumer,” Stefanie Meyers, senior vice president of distribution at Starz on a CES panel, said. “It used to be, if you could just get somebody to subscribe, that was kind of it. Now, we are constantly having to justify the time that the customer spends with each of our products or each of our shows.”

“It’s trying to figure out ways to continue to feed the core audience and then build off of that audience and provide them more content and possibly create more tentpole content to keep them invested in the service,” Meyers added.