Disney to test early access to merchandise for US Disney+ customers

By Lisa Richwine

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – U.S. subscribers to the Disney+ streaming service will be able to purchase new Star Wars lightsabers, Black Panther masks and other merchandise from Tuesday, a week before the general public, Walt Disney Co said. in a press release.

The company described the offer as a limited test of an added benefit for streaming customers looking to grab coveted products created for the holiday shopping season.

Disney, Netflix Inc and other companies are scrambling to attract streaming customers amid growing competition for online viewers. The Mouse House reported approximately 152.1 million Disney+ subscriptions as of July 2, including 44.5 million in the United States and Canada. Disney will reveal its latest streaming numbers in its earnings report on November 8.

With the new offer, Disney+ will give US subscribers the ability to purchase new merchandise related to “The Mandalorian,” “Black Panther,” and “Doctor Strange” through a dedicated page on shopDisney.com. Viewers can access the page via QR codes under “Buy This Story” on the Disney+ page for a specific series or movie.

A shop tab will appear on the main Disney+ profiles for US subscribers 18 and older, the company said.

US Disney+ customers will also have the option to purchase exclusive “Frozen 2” and “Lightyear” merchandise.

“Special access to this curated collection of merchandise for the upcoming holiday season is the latest example of the many ways we’re experimenting to improve the user experience on Disney+, which includes improving the benefits of being a subscriber,” said Disney+ President Alisa Bowen. in a report.

(Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)