As millions of people are forced to stay inside, streaming services have seen an enormous uptick in usage. Disney+, the new kid on the block, is no exception. The platform hasn’t hesitated to explode in popularity.
Just five months after its initial release Disney+ has gathered more than 50 million paid subscribers. To put things in perspective, that’s about a third of the size of Netflix—who began streaming over a decade earlier.
Best Launch Ever
Everyone knew that a streaming platform filled with everything from Disney favorites to Marvel movies and every Star Wars film to National Geographic documentaries would find success. There’s something for just about everyone on Disney+.
However, no one could have predicted just how quickly it found success.
In the first day after launching in the United States and the Netherlands, Disney+ had 10 million sign-ups. Three months later, it had 28 million users. Although that frenetic pace seemed hard to sustain, Disney+ did so, now increasing its subscriber count to more than 50 million.
The service is available in more than a dozen countries around the world. It arrived in eight European countries over the past two weeks, including the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, and Ireland. It also arrived in India last week.
There, Disney is offering its streaming service in conjunction with Hotstar, India’s largest streaming platform, resulting in eight million sign-ups.
Kevin Mayer, chairman of Walt Disney’s direct-to-consumer & international division says, “We’re truly humbled that Disney+ is resonating with millions around the globe, and believe this bodes well for our continued expansion throughout Western Europe and into Japan and all of Latin America later this year.”
Disney+ has already proven that it can attract customers. The company originally predicted that it would take five years to reach between 60 and 90 million subscribers. It’s safe to say that the platform will easily beat that estimate this year.
Disney+ can likely attribute some of its 50 million subscribers to the current COVID-19 pandemic. The entertainment industry has been hit hard by the virus as movie theaters and production units shut down. As a result, more people are turning to streaming services for at-home entertainment.
To help quarantined households cope, Disney has turned its streaming service into a beacon of positivity in the past few weeks. It released hit movies “Frozen II,” and Pixar’s “Onward” on Disney+ weeks earlier than originally scheduled. The forthcoming sci-fi movie “Artemis Fowl” will premiere on Disney+ rather than having a late theatrical release.
Mayer says, “Great storytelling inspires and uplifts, and we are in the fortunate position of being able to deliver a vast array of great entertainment rooted in joy and optimism on Disney Plus.”
Netflix isn’t going anywhere. Even so, consumers stuck at home are clearly enjoying having another streaming option. In the weeks to come, Disney+ and its abundant content will be a bright spot in the lives of many.
For Disney, the resounding success of its streaming platform will be a huge part of its business plan moving forward. With its theme parks closed indefinitely, Disney+ will shoulder the load for Disney—likely for the remainder of the year.