This is not a surprising situation at all based on Disney’s extremely poor track record with in-app promotion, but disappointing nonetheless to all the teams associated with these underpromoted films and specials. As we’ve covered ad nauseum, Disney+ appears unwilling to utilize their initially lauded (then quickly, disparaged) “Coming Soon” feature. It’s awkward.
The following originals release on Friday, April 22nd:
- Bear Witness
- The Biggest Little Farm: The Return
- DisneyNature’s Polar Bear
- Explorer: The Last Tepui
- The Simpsons: When Billie Met Lisa
4 Earth Day specials, 1 Simpsons short. All unpromoted in-app.
Imagine being one of the many, many people requesting that Disney add a “Coming Soon” feature to Disney+ after it launched in 2019. After years of Netflix spoiling their subscribers with transparency, Disney fans expected this feature to be a priority. HBO Max launched months after Disney+, but immediately provided a similarly incredible “Coming Soon” feature. Now, imagine that Disney finally added the feature on its two-year anniversary (Disney+ Day 2021).
Imagine people’s disappointment when, mere weeks after the celebration wore off, it became clear the “Coming Soon” feature was not a priority to their team. At all. They sought a pat on the back for adding something people requested, but have never bothered to utilize it consistently or even remotely well.
The first crack came days after they launched the feature. Disney announced their upcoming December library lineup, but added none of it to the “Coming Soon” row. The next crack came mid-December when the January content list released and once again, Disney didn’t promote anything. It continued like this as Disney announced and released new Originals without even bothering to make them a “Coming Soon” page.
We’re now half a year into the barely used “Coming Soon” feature. It’s the butt of many jokes and the source of multiple articles on our site (1 2 3). It should absolutely embarrass their team that the row only features 1 (!) title that wasn’t added the day they launched the feature! In other words, it has never been a “Coming Soon” feature. It’s always been a “Select Titles Very Far Into The Future That We Are Listing Arbitrarily” Row.
We filed a friendly complaint / suggestion months ago with a publicist and asked her to please direct our message to the right people. A few days later they added a handful of Coming Soon pages. We thought we’d won and opened their eyes.
We were wrong.
Cut to weeks later. Those newly-listed originals have all arrived and the row is emptier than ever. They continue to announce release dates for new originals and provide trailers and posters, but the row remain unused and empty. We discovered a couple months ago that Disney actually maintains a more appropriate “Coming Soon” list on their official website for Originals here.
Subscribers are justified in their anger / disappointment. After years of requesting the feature, Disney added it just to ignore it. It’s even crazier now that we know they are capable of doing a proper “Coming Soon” row on their website. The lack of in-app promotion is harmful to the series, films, and specials that they pass over.
Did you know that ‘Cheaper By The Dozen’ NEVER received a “Coming Soon” page? It received a release window of March all the way back in November, the same day they launched the feature, but they didn’t bother to add a page for it. Somehow they still managed to provide pages for numerous titles which even to this day have not released.
It feels very “Disney+” that the “Coming Soon” row is so poorly utilized. Disney+ has long over-promised and under-delivered. How are you USA subscribers enjoying all those new mature titles they added after unlocking the ability 5 weeks ago?
How To Help
Head to help.disneyplus.com/
Click “Give Feedback,” “Live Chat,” or “Call Us.”
Tell them you expect and want the “Coming Soon” row to actually show what’s coming soon.
Drew Ryan is a film, TV, and Disney geek. He has degrees in English, Student Personnel Administration, and Library & Information Science from Lawrence University, Concordia University-Wisconsin, and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Interested in the minutia and licensing of streaming service content, he is always publishing lists, suggestions, and advocating for Disney’s missing library to be added to Disney+. Drew subscribes to Disney+, Hulu, Netflix, HBO Max, and Paramount+. You can find him waxing nostalgic over classic Disney Channel or geeking out over Marvel, CW shows, & Disney on Twitter.