Parents Should Practice Media Wisdom as Disney+ Continues to Skyrocket
By Allyson Vannatta, Staff Writer
By the end of 2019, Disney+ already had more than 26 million subscribers, and that number continues to quickly grow in the new year. While the content often appeals to families, parents should make sure they are monitoring what their children are watching.
Disney CEO Bob Iger told investors, “The launch of Disney+ has been enormously successful, exceeding even our greatest expectations.”
As of Feb. 3, the new streaming service has 28.6 million subscribers.
Analysts expected the service to have somewhere between 20 and 25 million subscribers for the low price of $7 a month. It’s safe to say the new service has even exceeded the analysts’ predictions and could see continued growth with the new titles Disney+ announced.
The good news for the streaming giant is that Disney+ is only available in select countries. These include the U.S., Canada, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, and Puerto Rico. However, this spring will bring more subscribers as they plan to roll the service out more widely.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Netflix still holds the crown with 68 million subscribers in the U.S. and Canada, and 167 million worldwide. Hulu is up to 30.4 million while ESPN+ is at 7.6 million.
While THE MANDALORIAN was the first Disney+ breakout hit, they’re now looking for the next hit to keep subscribers coming back. Marvel is set to add THE FALCON & THE WINTER SOLDIER, LOKI and WANDAVISION to the service this year.
The service is hoping that keeping the docket stocked with high-profile shows and movies like THE SIMPSONS, STAR WARS and Marvel will encourage viewers to come back between launches of new original content.
However, Iger said, “We’re really comfortable with the volume of product that we’re creating.”
A poll last year found that the majority of people stream classic Disney content on the service, followed closely by STAR WARS movies, Marvel and Pixar content. The poll revealed that Disney+ originals account for only 2% of streamed content.
Just because the platform offers a multitude of family-friendly content doesn’t mean parents should allow their children free reign over the streaming options.
As Movieguide® previously reported, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in 2016 published recommendations for parents to use concerning screen time and their children. These recommendations were used to assess screen time in the recent study.
The recommendations are:
For children younger than 18 months, avoid use of screen media other than video-chatting. Parents of children 18 to 24 months of age who want to introduce digital media should choose high-quality programming, and watch it with their children to help them understand what they’re seeing.
For children ages 2 to 5 years, limit screen use to 1 hour per day of high-quality programs. Parents should co-view media with children to help them understand what they are seeing and apply it to the world around them.
For children ages 6 and older, place consistent limits on the time spent using media, and the types of media, and make sure media does not take the place of adequate sleep, physical activity and other behaviors essential to health.
Designate media-free times together, such as dinner or driving, as well as media-free locations at home, such as bedrooms.
Have ongoing communication about online citizenship and safety, including treating others with respect online and offline.