Disney+ hits 100 million subscribers 16 months after launching

After many successful films and TV shows, Disney’s video streaming platform hit the milestone earlier this week.

Disney+ launched in limited market in November 2019. After expanding to more countries, the streaming platform reported 50 million subscribers just five months after launching. Now, 16 months after its launch, CEO of the Walt Disney Company, Bob Chapek reported that Disney+ hit 100 million subscribers on Tuesday.

For comparison, in 2017 Netflix hit 100 million subcribers ten years after launching streaming. Netflix are still considerably ahead of Disney+, with 200 million subscribers reported earlier this year. Disney’s success exceeded their own expectations, with the company initially setting a goal of 60 to 90 million subscribers by 2024. This projection is now set to 230 to 260 million subscribers by 2024.

How did Disney achieve this milestone so quickly? A fantastic library from day one brought in early subscribers, then several factors lead to an increase in numbers. Of course the pandemic played a huge part in Disney+’s success. Launching in the US, Canada, Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand and Puerto Rico in November 2019, then European countries in March, when cinema’s around the world closed and stay-at-home orders came into effect.

New original film and shows have launched on Disney+, keeping subscribers entertained. December last year saw Pixar film Soul become the most-watched title of the month. One month later, WandaVision recorded the most streams of any show in the US in January, more than one of Netflix’s biggest shows ever, Bridgerton. This is even more impressive considering only a handful of WandaVision episodes had dropped compared to the full season of the period drama. February saw the launch of India’s Star platform for adult audiences outside of the US.

Disney have 100 new films and television titles planned for release this year from Disney Animation, Disney Live Action, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic, with 80% of these slated for release on Disney+.

Disney’s impeccable timing has been a lifeline for the company, as the streaming service becomes their primary focus. Disney shares hit an all-time-high earlier this week at over $200.

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