Disney+ tops 100M subscribers thanks to success of Marvel, Star Wars

Disney+ has now topped 100M subscribers.
Image: Disney

The streaming industry was already getting competitive before Disney+ showed up. Now, it is more crowded than ever. It seems like every major studio and media company is releasing its own streaming service.

However, a few are rising above the rest in terms of popularity. Disney+ continues to cement its place at the top of the streaming industry with each month that passes. Now, less than a year and a half after its launch, Disney+ has amassed 100 million subscribers.

Although Disney didn’t directly attribute its continued success to a particular title, it’s likely that the positive reception of “WandaVision” and the second season of “The Mandalorian” have helped grow the number.

Renewed Efforts

It’s no secret that Disney has been working hard to grow its flagship streaming service ever since its launch. The company is focusing on its digital offerings at a time when revenues from its theme parks are taking a hit due to the pandemic.

By topping 100 million subscribers just 16 months after its launch, Disney+ became a streaming industry giant almost overnight. It also defied the expectations of industry experts and competitors alike.

In the wake of that success, Disney isn’t settling into the comfortable position it could take. Instead, it will continue to pursue an aggressive release schedule for new content that will attract new subscribers and retain current ones.

In a press release, Disney CEO Bob Chapek said, “The enormous success of Disney+… has inspired us to be even more ambitious to significantly increase our investment in the development of high-quality content.”

“In fact, we set a target of [more than] 100 new titles per year, and this includes Disney Animation, Disney Live Action, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic,” he adds.

The next major show slated to debut on Disney+ is “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.” Its first episode will air on March 19. If the successes of “The Mandalorian” and “WandaVision” are any indication, Disney’s latest direct-to-streaming series should be a hit. Given the fact that it includes familiar faces from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there should be plenty of interest in the new show.

Looking Ahead

When Disney+ first launched, the company set a goal of reaching between 60 and 90 million subscribers by 2024. Since it has annihilated that goal, Disney offered new guidance that better reflects the positive reception of its platform.

Between all of its streaming platforms, the company is now aiming for between 300 and 350 million subscribers by 2024. It’s worth noting that this includes Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+, Star+, and HotStar.

That’s a lofty goal. However, as Chapek pointed out, “direct-to-consumer business is the company’s top priority.”

For consumers, that’s good news. It means there will be no shortage of original content to binge in the coming years. Given Disney’s wealth of intellectual property and beloved franchises, its upcoming shows and movies will cater to a wide audience.


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