Disney Is Planning an In-App Merchandise Feature for Disney+
Disney is creating more ways for fans to buy branded merchandise by integrating an in-app commerce option into the Disney+ app.
Other apps and services, such as Amazon Music, Spotify, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter, have made in-app purchasing possible, so it was inevitable that such a big commercial entity like Disney would get around to it eventually.
According to Tech Crunch, customers would scan a QR code in the Disney+ app, which would lead them to the company website, where they can buy products like lightsaber toys from "The Mandalorian."
Disney+ is reportedly planning to introduce a retail feature where subscribers can purchase exclusive movie & show merchandise, such as #TheMandalorian’s Darksaber replica toy! Full details: https://t.co/27WGSzs24b pic.twitter.com/943JV4G93u
— Star Wars - The Direct (@StarWars_Direct) September 1, 2022
Disney has already made its streaming intellectual properties a major focus at merchandise stores within the theme parks. It's also used merchandise to bridge the gap between reality and virtual reality by creating products that exist in video games or shows, or bringing real-life merchandise into video games for people to customize their characters with the products they bought at the park.
What this does is allow people to buy products they see on the screen without having to take the trip to Florida or California. They don't even have to type in a URL. It's a bit like a point-of-purchase display to encourage impulse buys. Someone is sitting on their couch watching "The Mandalorian," they scan the QR code out of curiosity, and suddenly they're buying a lightsaber toy as a gift (or for themselves).
Disney has always been a guiding force in the power of marketing and branding, so it's a little surprising they weren't the first to do in-app purchasing from a streaming service. But, it's at least an indicator that the big players are looking at that as an e-commerce and branding option. And, don't forget, they have Marvel intellectual properties now, too, and those are merchandising cash cows.
And those streaming services are leaning heavily on branded merchandise and creative releases, too. Look at what Netflix has done with its designer drops and immersive experience pop-ups. With Disney creating more of its own content for the streaming service, it's entirely possible they follow Netflix's lead here and create even more branding opportunities down the road.