Although not many industries can say the same, 2020 was a good year for the streaming world. Services like Netflix and Disney+ have greatly benefitted from people staying home to practice social distancing.
On Tuesday, the latter celebrated the one-year anniversary of its launch. Disney announced that its streaming service now has 73.7 million subscribers. In fact, the current number may be even higher since that count is from October 3.
That’s an impressive feat considering it has only been around for a year. Moreover, it legitimizes Disney+ as a true Netflix competitor and a titan in the streaming world.
When Disney+ first launched, the media giant originally said that it wouldn’t be overly transparent with its subscriber counts. However, that hasn’t been true. Disney has provided several updates as its streaming service passed major milestones.
The latest update accounts for subscribers gained prior to October 3. Given the fact that season two of “The Mandalorian” started streaming after that date, it will be interesting to see how many subscribers have been added since then. Disney plans to announce its true one-year subscriber numbers at an investor presentation on December 10.
Nonetheless, the streaming service has already achieved the goals that were outlined for it at its launch. Disney estimated that it would reach between 60 and 90 million subscribers within five years. With nearly 74 million subscribers, Disney+ has smashed through that goal just one year into its existence.
It is worth noting that 19 million subscribers have come by way of Disney+ Hotstar, the branded version of the streaming service for India and Indonesia. Those markets were the leading drivers of growth for Disney+ in the previous quarter.
Everything the People Want
Despite the fact that the rapid growth of Disney+ is very impressive, it isn’t surprising. The platform hosts a huge lineup of beloved content including classic Disney movies, the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, and much more. Of course, it is also home to several hit shows, including “The Mandalorian” and “The Right Stuff.”
The timeless appeal of the content on Disney+ has proven to be a successful way to attract subscribers. That’s something Netflix has struggled with in the past. It has plenty of content, but not all of it is intriguing enough to bring in (and retain) subscribers. Even so, the grandfather of streaming has some 195 million global subscribers.
Moving forward, Disney doesn’t plan on slowing down. The House of Mouse is pursuing an ambitious release schedule for its new shows and movies.
Moreover, it appears to be making the streaming service a more central part of its release plan for new feature films. With theaters facing an uncertain future, Disney has already debuted several big-name movies on its platform with an additional cost to subscribers.
It will be interesting to see if Disney+ can maintain its rapid growth or if the numbers start to flatten out in the months to come.