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Disney Plus - Statistics & Facts

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. The service had gained a name for itself well before its release and fueled a media storm rife with speculation and hypotheses as the streaming wars intensified, and analysts quickly began predicting how Disney+ would change or disrupt the market.

Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox gave Disney access to a wealth of content to support its new direct-to-consumer offering, and just one consequence of this was that market leader Netflix lost the rights to U.S. sitcom ‘Friends’, one of its most popular shows. However, the entrance of the service into an already saturated market raised questions about its potential success. Would Disney+ be able to seriously take on larger and more established providers? Do consumers even want any more video streaming services, when the SVoD market already frustrates them? Analysts were unsure, but it was clear from the outset that Disney had big plans for the latest addition to its empire.

Fast forward to May 2020 and Disney+ had snagged over 54 million subscribers worldwide and launched in Australia, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Europe, and India. To put the service’s subscriber number into perspective, it took Netflix several years to achieve a similar figure despite navigating a much quieter market with limited competition. Moreover, the 54.5 million figure was more than half what analysts predicted Disney+ would achieve by 2025, putting the service on track to hit 100 million subscribers in a much shorter time than anticipated.

The video streaming market is however highly prone to change. The rapid growth Disney+ enjoyed in its first few months may not continue long term, particularly as the service benefited heavily from coronavirus pandemic as audiences across the globe increased their SVoD consumption. Content wise, Disney+ has a long way to go in the U.S. before it can compete with the likes of Amazon and Netflix, although its early success is perhaps even more remarkable given that its catalog is substantially smaller.

For now, the future of Disney+ looks positive. The Disney+ app positioned itself as one of the leading entertainment apps in the Apple App Store worldwide in spring 2020, performing well in terms of both revenue and downloads. Meanwhile, the coronavirus caused the estimated number of global SVoD subscribers by the year 2024 to increase, and Disney+ will likely take its own share.

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Disney Plus

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