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Who’s ready for an exciting talk about the impact of Disney Plus on the events industry? Because here to deliver your weekly dose of tech news is the Event Tech Podcast! And whether you already have your subscription or simply can’t stand to hear about the streaming service anymore, you’ll want to pay attention. It’s an exciting topic we’re tackling here, particularly when it comes down to the impact the streaming service has on our beloved industry.

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So, our amazing hosts Will Curran and Brandt Krueger are here to give you the breakdown. What is Disney Plus all about? And why should you, as an event professional, even care? If you’re curious to hear the answers to these questions and more, then sit tight and press play. We’re about to get techy, with just a small hint of magic!

Click here for the full audio transcription.

disney plus impactThe Disney Plus Launch

Before moving onto the Disney Plus impact on the events industry, we’ll go over the initial response. And as Brandt puts it, “what was interesting to me was that there was this backlash of, oh, it’s a fail, it’s a fail. Because there were some bugs. And so some of the tech press was quick to say, “It’s only the most hyped launch ever. How could they not know how much demand there was going to be?” Well, you just don’t”

“You’ve got some idea of how many people are already signed up, have already paid for the service or are going to get it”, he continues. “But you don’t know what kind of internet connections they’re going to be on. You don’t know if they’re going to be watching it on an iPad or streaming it on a 4K television. You just don’t know until it launches. And as far as I could tell, all of that kind of seemed to get flushed out within the first couple of days”.

Disney Plus Impact On Streaming

Obviously, Disney is far from being the first company to launch a streaming service. However, Brandt does believe it did “a lot of good when it comes to streaming” because back in the day, with Movies Anywhere, “I don’t have to worry about when I buy a movie, which service did I buy it on? Did I buy it on Amazon? Was it Google+? It’s just there”.

“And one of the things that I loved is they went to their insider club, the D23 Club. Which is the hardest of hardcore Disney fans and it’s merch and inside and backstage tours and all this kind of stuff”, Brandt explains. “And they said, okay, anybody who’s in the D23 Club can get this founder’s rate. If you prepay, you got 40% off. So if you prepaid for I think three years, you got 40% off the regular price. And so I jumped on that for a couple of reasons. One, because it was cheaper. And two, I’ve now prepaid for that. I don’t have to think about that subscription for three years. And I really like that idea”.

The Disney Plus Impact On Ideas

Will jumps in to add that you can actually get ideas from this. Here is how the Disney Plus impact can work: “look at your big hardcore super fans for your event and maybe figure out a way that you can roll out something special for them as well. Maybe it’s some technological add-on. It could be even just like, you have been coming to our event for the last five years since we came out. We’re going to give you seats in the front. Or, you get the opportunity to pick the color of your badge”.

Brandt agrees, adding that “I love the idea of doing something a little nice like that. I love surprising people with front row seats. Maybe you surprise people with a meet and greet with the speaker. Looking back, who does that? I mean, I can’t think of anybody ever talking about this, of going back and looking at your attendance records and seeing, cross-referencing that and seeing who’s been our most loyal fans. Who are the ones that have been here every year? And then doing something nice for them. I think that would be an amazing thing for somebody to do at an event”.

Security Enters The Chat

“What happened was that people were reusing passwords”, Brandt explains. “And so, all people had to do was look up the email password combinations for folks and start guessing that they were going to try and be Disney+ customers. I mean, millions of people signed up for the service. So it was worth a try for hackers to try some of these username-password combinations that were from other breaches. And so just, please, a quick reminder. Please, for the love of God, use a password manager. So that you’re not using the same password over and over and over again”.

Will also reminds us that “they’ll test your account, they’ll see it works, they know your email’s active, they know you have Disney+. And then they’re going to send you an email and say, there’s an issue with your credit card, with the Disney+ account. Please click this link and update your credit card. And you click on that link, takes you a fake page, enter your credit card information. Boom. You’re done”.

disney plus impactA Cautionary Tale

A curious thing that happened with Disney Plus can also serve as a warning for content creators out there. The Simpsons are part of the streaming service, and the older episodes are decades old. “What that means is it spanned the digital transition. It spanned the transition from SD 4 x 3, standard definition 4 x 3, into the HD 16 x 9 episode”, Brandt says. “They tried to stretch it to fill the 16 x 9 and just chop off the bottom and the top”, adds Will. “Well, you can imagine what happened. So they chopped off the bottom, top. Well, Simpsons has a lot of visual comedy wherein the corner will be an object that’s related to the joke they’re telling. And well, all that got chopped off”.

“So anytime you’re dealing with older content, anytime you’re dealing with content that is going to be 4 x 3, just use the pillars on the side, let it be the way that it’s supposed to be rather than trying to stretch it, squeeze it, cut it off into a 16 x 9 format”, Brandt advises.

A Little Something Extra

“One thing I was going to tie us back into with the aspect ratio portion too is that the thing that I think that wasn’t done is kind of a rushed decision to do this cropping that ends up happening”, adds Will. “Just keep in mind too, if you are, for example, you have a big financial institution, all your presenters come in with 4 x 3 presentations, just make sure that if you want to confirm a 16 x 9, it takes time. That’s another one of those things that you don’t know is going to rile people up until you launch”.

The Disney Plus Impact On The Future

One great thing about the streaming service is that it has an incredible amount of choices. And a lot of this choice comes from old movies and television shows. “It’s going to start percolating a little bit”, says Brandt. “And as some of these older movies get rediscovered by younger generations or even current generations, there’s a really good chance that some of these things can kind of come back as themes and as in on back into popular culture. And so, we might start to see this come out as far as party themes and things like that. I think there’s a lot of things that you can mine in this treasure trove of old Disney movies for theming ideas.”.

“I think it’s really cool because we don’t really talk about trends and design and things like that in here”, adds Will. “But this is kind of cool how technology is now going to influence a potential, a change in events and themes and design and everything like that too”.


And that’s a wrap on today’s episode of Event Tech Podcast! We’ve covered the Disney Plus impact on the events industry, but we also want to hear your opinion on the subject. Let us know what you think in the comment section below! And please, for the sake of Brandt’s peace of mind, make sure you get yourself a password manager – it will make life much better. Make sure you tune in again next week for more exciting tech talk!


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Brandt Krueger

Author Brandt Krueger

With over 20 years experience in the meetings and events industry, Brandt has spoken at industry events and seminars all over the world, been published in numerous magazines and websites, and teaches public and private classes on meeting and event technology and production. He provides freelance technical production services, and is the owner of Event Technology Consulting.

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