The impressive launch of Disney+ essentially provides us with a case study in how to successfully enter a saturated media market and immediately make an impact. There’s no question that the streaming field these days is crowded, but Disney managed to implant itself as a serious contender thanks to an affordable price point, a library of familiar and beloved content, and of course, a hot new show with The Mandalorian.
While official metrics regarding the Disney+ launch remain to be seen, early reports suggest that Disney+ hit the ground running and quickly amassed millions of new subscribers. Indeed, on the day of launch, Disney issued a press release boasting that they’ve seen “extraordinary demand with more than 10 Million sign-ups.”
In light of that, a new report from the research firm Apptopia relays that interest in Disney+ hasn’t waned at all since launch. Specifically, Apptopia notes that the Disney+ app has already been downloaded to 22 million mobile devices. What’s more, the firm claims that user engagement with the service is high, with an estimated 9.5 million users enjoying the app daily. Those are remarkable figures for a service that is barely four weeks old at this point.
It’s worth noting that Apptopia’s research only measures installs on mobile devices and does not include web views or downloads to set-top boxes like Apple TV. Put differently, the actual number of Disney+ users may be even higher than Apptopia’s figures suggest.
We’ll have a more concrete sense of how well Disney+ is doing once Disney posts its earnings results for the fourth quarter, but the early evidence is incredibly encouraging.
On a related note, it will be interesting to see if the success of Disney+ has a significant impact, if any, on Netflix’s subscriber base. While it’s easy to view the streaming wars as a zero-sum game, there’s certainly enough room for two giants like Netflix and Disney to co-exist and thrive simultaneously.
Interestingly, Netflix executives — at least outwardly — don’t appear threatened by Disney+ in the slightest.
“We have to continue to do what we’ve been doing, which is make the best content and deliver it seamlessly,” Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said a few weeks back. “I think the bigger you are, the more distractions you have to your core business, the more likely you can’t move as quickly as we’ve been able to through our history. The new set of competitors is actually just the old set of competitors.”
Netflix, meanwhile, is still pouring boatloads of cash into new content and we haven’t seen any evidence just yet to suggest that consumers are dropping their Netflix subscriptions in favor of Disney+. If anything, both services are sufficiently cheap enough that subscribing to both is still significantly cheaper than a traditional cable package.