Disney+ has hit the ground running after signing up close to 95 million subscribers in a little over a year of operation.
Divulging the numbers in its latest quarterly financial report, Disney will take comfort from a rapid growth trajectory which arms it with a formidable streaming platform that can compete with market leader Netflix.
The unwavering success of Disney+
With increased subscribers come increased revenues; Disney has drawn $3.5bn from direct to consumer services such as Hulu and ESPN+, a 73% increase on the previous year, although Disney+ cannot claim all the credit as it did not launch until November 2019.
Considering all Disney direct to consumer properties as one, the house of mouse topped an impressive 146m paid streaming subscribers.
Lauding the pace of progress Disney chief executive Bob Chapek praised the ’incredible strides’ represented by the figures in cornering a healthy chunk of the streaming sector.
Disney’s streaming success offsets another disastrous quarter for the group’s theme parks and film studios, which have been forced into hibernation until the pandemic can be brought under control.
Over the three months to 2 January, revenue from these mainstay sectors fell 22% to $16.2bn, outpacing catastrophic predictions from Wall Street that net profits would slide 99% to a scant $18m.
Why it matters
Upon launch, Disney+ set itself the target of hitting 90m subscribers by 2024, a tally it has now shot past with ease in a mere 15 months.
This translates to a year-on-year increase of 258% and follows a signature year for the entertainment juggernaut fueled by a housebound consumer base scrabbling around for new entertainment mediums.
Flush with this success an emboldened Disney has penciled in price rises for new subscribers that will take effect from 23 February to a flat $7.99 in the US and UK – up from $6.99 and £5.99 before the hike.
Disney is far from finished in this area either, with the looming launch of Star, a Hulu replacement for international customers, launching across Europe, Canada and New Zealand on 23 February.
Disney is also prepping its newest property Reya and the Last Dragon to premiere on Disney+ for a paid premium on 5 March alongside the latest additions to the Marvel juggernaut; The Falcon and the Winter Soldier in March and Loki in May.