Disney+ tops 54 million subscribers
Staff Reporter | On 06, May 2020
Disney+ now has more than 54 million subscribers around the world.
The House of Mouse’s subscription service, which launched in the USA last year, finally arrived on UK soil last month, bringing together Pixar, Star Wars, National Geographic and 20th Century Fox content into one Netflix-rivalling platform. The launch in the UK came just as the world entered lockdown due to the coronavirus, and that captive audience of at-home families has boosted demand for streaming services.
As of Monday this week, 54.5 million subscribers have signed up, a jump of 4.5 million from 8th April, when the service had 50 million subscribers, and almost double the 28.6 million people it had signed up in February 2020.
The figures come as Disney nonetheless weathers the financial storm of the pandemic, with losses rising for Disney’s consumer and international unit to $812 million, driving by the investment in Disney+ and consolidating Hulu. The unit is expected to generate $1.1 billion in losses in the current quarter of 2020. At the same time, ESPN has seen advertising revenue decline 8 per cent year-on-year, due to a lack of live sports.
Nonetheless, Disney+’s subscriber growth places the Netflix rival in a strong position to take on Netflix and makes it clear that the platform has global appeal – an appeal bolstered by Disney’s move to bring releases such as Frozen 2 and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker to the streaming service earlier than planned. Artemis Fowl, its planned summer blockbuster based on the Eoin COlfer books, will also be released straight to Disney+ on 12th June.
Bob Chapek, who was named CEO of Disney earlier this year, said: “Our company’s top priority and the key to our growth is our direct to consumer (assets).”
The Nordic countries, Belgium, Luxembourg and Portugal are next up for Disney+’s rollout this year, alongside Japan and Latin America.
Disney, however, also emphasised the value it places on cinemas, with the plan to release Mulan on 24th July on the big screen still in place, with Black Widow and Soul expected to be released in cinemas on 7th November and 20th November. Changes to those plans may, of course, happen, if cinemas do not open until later in the year.
Disney+ racks up 28 million subscribers
5th February 2020
Disney+ has already racked up more than 28 million subscribers, Disney announced yesterday.
The House of Mouse reported its quarterly results yesterday, which saw its per-share profit decline 17 per cent and revenue climb 36 per cent. The mixed figures were largely a result of the sheer cost of launching Disney+ in the USA, with an international rollout on the very near horizon.
The one number that matters, though, is how many people have signed up for the service, and in that department, Disney will be pleased: 28.6 million people have signed up as of Monday this week, up from the 10 million that signed up in its opening few days and a healthy figure for a service that is only a few months old. (Netflix, which has been operating for years, currently has more than 150 million subscribers globally.)
Disney’s Bob Iger said in a statement: “It’s often challenging for a company to pivot in a new strategic direction, particularly when it involved navigating between established and emerging business models. We have made an extraordinary amount of progress.”
The platform’s most popular titles included Moana, old episode’s of Hannah Montana, The Simpsons and The Mandalorian.
The latter Iger described as a “bona fide hit” and “cultural phenomenon”, adding a shout-out for Baby Yoda, who has become a viral sensation.
The Mandalorian will return for Season 2 in October, Iger revealed, with Marvel’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier set for an August debut, followed by WandaVision in December.
Disney+ launches in the UK on 24th March priced at £5.99 a month. For more details, click here.
Disney+ surpasses 10 million subscribers
15th November 2019
Disney has said that it now has more than 10 million subscribers to Disney+.
The House of Mouse’s new subscription platform is intended to rival Netflix with a host of Disney classics and new series such as Star Wars spin-off The Mandalorian. It launched in the USA on 12th November, hot on the heels of the launch of Apple TV+, another SVOD service hoping to carve out a space in the VOD arena. Where Apple TV+ is available worldwide, though, Disney+ does not launch in the UK until 31st March 2020.
Disney, however, claims it is having no trouble attracting sign-ups. Citing “extraordinary demand”, Disney has said that Disney+ has more than 10 million subscribers within a day of launching. Indeed, on its first day, the service had trouble loading for many users, with the House of Mouse saying demand was above expectations.
With Verizon offering a free one-year subscription in the USA to customers, it was expected that Disney+ would reach around 8 million subscribers in its opening months, but according to Disney’s own figures, that forecast has already been topped. The figure, of course, may be somewhat inflated, due to the seven-day free trial being offered, which means some may cancel and choose not to sign up for their first paid month. Disney also signed up customers before it launched at the D23 Expo in the summer.
Nonetheless, it bodes well for Disney’s aim to establish itself as a noted VOD contender, with a projection of 60 to 90 million subscribers worldwide by 2024. To put that into perspective, Netflix currently has more than 150 million subscribers globally. With Disney+ launching in Australia, New Zealand and Puerto Rico on 19th November, the potential for Disney’s streaming platform to grow will be tested on a wider international stage. For now, though, the prospect of a happy ever after seems like a possibility after all.