The arrival of Disney+ has finally come. This highly-anticipated collection of beloved Disney movies, television shows, and short films has captivated the nation. How are these films and shows not yet outdated? How did they get to be so timeless? And how is Disney+ becoming so successful? There is one simple answer to all of these questions: nostalgia.
Nostalgia—a deep longing for the past—has proven to be one of the most powerful emotions behind the success of Disney+. When our generation found out about Disney+, it is safe to say that we were the most excited. Research has determined that the main demographics of viewers are either 18-24-year-olds, or households with children. This makes sense, as the affordable price point (just seven dollars a month) attracts both college students and post-grads. Twenty-five-year-olds get excited about Lizzie McGuire and Even Stevens. Nineteen-year-olds are absorbed in Hannah Montana and Wizards of Waverly Place. So what will happen when this large age group gets tired of Disney+, as they seem to with everything else?
Hopefully, Disney can find a way to keep its young viewers excited and engaged through the power of reminiscence. They have already attempted this with enduring films including the Toy Story series and many of the princess movies. Disney+ is unique in the fact that it has a large percentage of college-aged viewers; the age range of its audience will likely broaden with time. A younger crowd is brought to Disney+ through their parents, as these adults want to share movies from childhood with their children.
Shortly after the release of Disney+, Nickelodeon signed a contract with Netflix to attempt a similar product. Nickelodeon and Disney have been competing since the beginning of time, but the former has struggled to catch up. Disney is growing far too wide-spread and culturally influential. Disney+, then, should not be threatened by Nick’s partnering with Netflix— they should approach the move as friendly competition. The only question left is which network of memorabilia do you favor more?