Disney Plus Hits 50 Million Subscribers Within Five Months

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Five months into the launch, Disney Plus has signed up more than 50 million paid subscribers worldwide. When Disney last announced the figures in February, its new video streaming service had just crossed the 28 million mark.

Disney Plus has garnered about 22 million net new subscribers over the last two months. The subscription video-on-demand (VOD) service got a big boost in the past two weeks when it launched in several European countries, including the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, France, and Switzerland.

The service also launched in India on April 3, in conjunction with its existing Hotstar service. The service has already gained approximately eight million subscribers in India in less than a week.

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The global lockdown in response to the Coronavirus pandemic has also helped Disney. In the third week of March, Disney Plus sign ups tripled as compared to the previous week.

While this lockdown may have helped Disney gain subscribers, it has presented problems of its own as well. It's theme parks are closed, ESPN isn't getting any live sports, and movie releases have halted. It has also had to stop production on new content.

Disney Plus hits 50 million subscribers, nears its 2024 target four years early

Disney launched the Disney Plus video streaming service in November last year. Before the launch, the American mass media and entertainment conglomerate had set a target of 60 million to 90 million subscribers by the end of fiscal 2024, i.e. September 2024. However, the company seems to be on track to rack up those numbers a good four years early.

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"We're truly humbled that Disney Plus is resonating with millions around the globe, and believe this bodes well for our continued expansion," said Kevin Mayer, Chairman at Disney, in a press release. "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."

Mayer said Disney plans to continue expanding Disney Plus throughout Western Europe later this year. The service will also be launched in markets across Latin America and Japan. The current Coronavirus pandemic may force some delays, though.

Nevertheless, Disney Plus is growing far more rapidly than its competitors. For reference, Netflix has 167 million subscribers globally, of which about 60 million are in the US.

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Launched in 2007, Netflix surpassed 50 million subscribers in 2014. It added nearly nine million net subscribers globally during the fourth quarter of 2019.

Amazon Prime Video also has more than 150 million paid viewers globally. However, neither of them are close to Disney Plus when it comes to the growth rate.

Hulu, Disney's USA-only VOD service, has 30 million subscribers. The company is reportedly planning to launch the service in select international markets next year.

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