On November 12, 2019, The Walt Disney Company launched streaming service Disney+ to consumers in North America and the Netherlands after months of online buzz and anticipation. Knowing that Disney ranks among the world’s largest media and entertainment companies and remains one of the most beloved film studios of all time, analysts quickly began predicting how Disney+ would disrupt the market. After only a few years in the business, the media conglomerate continues to carve out larger slices of the global streaming pie each year, and according to the latest forecasts, Disney+ will even overtake Netflix as the world’s most popular SVOD service by 2026.
Disney+ subscribers and competitors: can the house of mouse compete?
The number of Disney+ subscribers has grown rapidly in the few years following the platform’s launch. While the service was initially only available in a handful of markets, it has since expanded to some 53 countries across North America, Latin America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region, leading viewer counts to skyrocket. Additionally, according to a recent announcement, Disney+ will debut in further 42 countries and 11 territories in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa in summer 2022. As of late 2021, roughly 118 million viewers subscribed to the platform, which is even more impressive, considering that the company had initially hoped to reach 60 to 90 million subscribers by 2024. While Netflix remains by far the largest SVOD provider globally, it took the streamer almost a decade to achieve similar figures despite navigating a much quieter market with limited competition. Today, the number of Netflix subscribers stands at over 221 million after receiving a significant boost amidst the pandemic. Another viable competitor in the global streaming race is Amazon Prime Video. Amazon’s flagship streaming service had the broadest content portfolio and reported some of the highest programming expenses in the world in 2021, with original shows such as “Fleabag” collecting critical acclaim and multiple Emmy wins in recent years.
What types of content can viewers expect on Disney+?
Compared to more established streaming heavyweights, Disney+ still offers a rather limited content catalog on its platform. In 2021, there were an estimated two thousand movies and TV shows available on Disney+, while Prime Video users could choose from over 44 thousand distinct titles. In addition to its library of non-Disney programming, Disney+ primarily features content produced by The Walt Disney Studios and its various subsidiaries, including Lucasfilm, 20th Century Studios, Pixar, and Marvel Entertainment. Hollywood blockbusters such as the Marvel franchise generate billions of U.S. dollars at the global box office, and their exclusive availability on Disney+ helps draw millions of viewers to the platform. On top of that, Disney+ originals such as “Wandavision” and “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” also averaged the highest production costs per episode among VOD services worldwide from 2019 to 2021. The media conglomerate is known to invest heavily in its content portfolio, and with multiple highly anticipated releases such as the Star Wars live-action series lined up for the coming years or the Marvel TV shows "Ms Marvel" and "Moon Knight" planned for 2022, Disney’s strive for streaming excellence and dominance is on display now more than ever.
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In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 30 most important statistics relating to "Disney Plus".