In probably a first when it comes to streaming platforms, Disney+, Disney’s streaming service, has raked 50 million subscribers, an incredible feat for a 5-month-old OTT platform.
Although the company has faced some setback with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, with theme parks shut, movies postponed and no live sports matches to televise on ESPN, this seems to be the only silver lining during these trying times.
Previously, analysts had predicted that the streaming platform would need until 2022 to reach such numbers. Notably, the company had announced that they had 28.6 million subscribers, as of February 3.
The huge numbers also include those who are bringing in revenue for the company but are not paying for the service themselves. Apart from these, they also include 8 million subscribers from India where Disney+ launched last week. Disney+ was able to released as a part of Hotstar after Disney bought Fox in 2019.
Apart from India, the incredible numbers can also be credited to the service becoming available in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and other European countries.
In comparison to Disney+, its sister streamer Hulu has about 30 million subscribers. The service has been in the market for 13 years but is not available anywhere other the US. Apart from Hulu, Disney+ is also a close contender of Netflix. The streaming giant was launched in 2007 and boasts of 167 million subscribers worldwide. However, Disney+’s ascent has been quick and it has been able to reach this huge number quicker than any other streamer in the market.
Apart from Europe and India, Disney is expected to roll out the service in Japan and Latin America by the end of the year.
“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,” Kevin Mayer, chairman of Walt Disney direct-to-consumer & international, said in a statement. “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+.”
However, it is not yet clear whether the huge numbers are a result of the quarantine that is in place all over the world due to the coronavirus pandemic. The situation has worsened worldwide, with theatres shutting down and businesses and schools moving online. The social distancing, if not a complete reason, might have partly influenced the huge numbers and increased viewership.
Notably, Disney+ had a staggering 10 million signups in the US in the first 24 hours of release.
Although original content has been slow to release, yet it offers a vast library of various programmes for people of all generations – from series like The Mandalorian to classic shows like The Simpsons. Apart from these, it also boasts of films from Marvel, Pixar and Lucasfilm.
Apart from these, Frozen 2 and Onward were brought to the streamer early along with Artemis Fowl, which skipped a theatrical release altogether and came directly to the platform. Like other studios, Disney is also trying to pipeline releases since production has stalled in wake of the coronavirus pandemic.