Taylor Swift is leaning into 2020. She just announced that Disney Plus will be releasing her live concert for ‘Folklore’ at midnight tonight. After a boatload of hype and just decent returns on the Hamilton special, Disney will be looking to the superstar singer and her massive fanbase for a home-run swing.
2020 has been a roller coaster for everyone. And Taylor Swift is no exception.
And now she’s taking all of that momentum and attention and sending directly to Disney Plus for what’s likely a stiff fee.
She tweeted her announcement out today. Check out the trailer below:
In the tweet, Taylor Swift does some strange, reverse math about the date of her announcement being tied to her favorite number, ’13.’ It’s a stretch.
But one thing that isn’t a stretch is that Disney Plus will also be very interested in a different set of numbers.
Was the Disney Plus Hamilton special a total failure? No, absolutely not. It’s not their fault that a global pandemic swept the world and closed down the movie theater industry right before its release.
Nonetheless, it was a highly anticipated release. But despite the glowing coverage of Hamilton’s success, Disney was no doubt disappointed.
74%. That was the big statistic media outlets quoted regarding Hamilton’s success.
That’s the increase in downloads that the Disney Plus app saw on mobile platforms in North America during the weekend Hamilton was released. (The worldwide increase was only 46.6%).
It sounds like a lot. It translates to 458,796 app downloads in North America.
But in the month before the Hamilton release, Disney Plus announced it had a total of 54.5 million subscribers. So that weekend bump didn’t exactly move the needle very far.
According to Forbes, that first weekend of Hamilton netted the platform a total of $5.26 million. Again, it sounds like a big number, but it would be an epically disappointing weekend if the special were released theatrically.
Considering Disney Plus shelled out $75 million to acquire the film , you have to believe it was hoping for more.
If we’re talking strictly numbers, Taylor Swift’s special has a shot at surpassing Hamilton’s success.
The combined total following for Hamilton’s Twitter page and creator Lin-Manuel Miranda’s account total just 4.5 million. Taylor Swift has nearly 20 times the following with 87.5 million Twitter followers.
Social media is only one metric, but it’s a strong one.
But here’s the rub. The demographics of Taylor Swift fans are likely very similar to that of Disney Plus subscribers. How many new subscribers can she really expect to net?
On top of that, her trailer wasn’t exactly inspiring. I’m not a Taylor Swift fan, and I’m sure it resonates on a whole different level to her following, but does it really look any more fun than a normal music video?
It’s Taylor Swift and her entourage, dressed in their pajamas, singing in a barn without an audience. The line between ‘intimate’ and ‘lazy’ looks very blurry.
Only time will tell what success this project will bring, but you can bet that Disney is hoping it’s not a Hamilton repeat.