- Disney Plus has reached 50 million subscribers — up more than 22 million since Disney last announced numbers two months ago.
Disney Plus has reached 50 million subscribers — up more than 22 million since Disney last announced numbers two months ago.
Disney’s new subscriber numbers follow a series of foreign rollouts, including the UK, India, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria and Switzerland. Given the fact that Disney Plus postponed the launch of its service in France because of government concern that it would put too much pressure on bandwidth, the app is now also available there. Disney earlier reported having 28 million subscribers during a February earnings call with investors.
To compare, Netflix has 167 million subscribers worldwide or just under one-third of the overall subscriber base for Netflix. Hulu, another subscription service operated by Disney, has 30 million subscribers. However, Hulu currently works in the US and Disney is looking at an international expansion starting in 2021.
“We are deeply humbled that Disney Plus resonates with millions across the globe, and agree that this bodes well for our continued expansion into Western Europe and later this year into Japan and Latin America,” said Kevin Mayer, Direct-to-Consumer Head of Disney, in a press release.
“Great storytelling inspires and uplifts, and we’re in a lucky position to deliver a vast array of great entertainment rooted in joy and optimism on Disney Plus.”
Disney Chief Financial Officer Christine McCarthy noted during the February investors call that Disney expects most of its growth to come from international subscribers. The firm is also expecting a bump in domestic subscribers around Marvel and Lucasfilm’s premiere of highly anticipated series. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier are expected to debut in August, with WandaVision arriving in December, and The Mandalorian returning in October for a second season.
In the last few weeks, too, Disney Plus has seen a burst of development. Early on Frozen 2 and Onward were carried into the streamer. Artemis Fowl, originally set to have a theatrical release, will now be debuting as an exclusive streaming service on Disney Plus. Like other studios, Disney is looking at ways to pipeline such releases as digital exclusives now that people at home are socially distancing and theaters remain closed because of the pandemic. Bob Iger, executive chairman, and former CEO told Barron that other titles are likely to go to Disney Plus early.
In India, All existing Hotstar customers will be migrated to their respective new subscription plans automatically and will be paid the new rates upon renewal.
The OTT services also promise to allow users to access their free library of content which includes several movies such as Chhichhore, Mission Mangal, and soap operas such as Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai. The free content library won’t have any originals or shows from Disney+, however.