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Disney+ gains on Netflix as it rockets to 50 million subscribers

Published Apr 9th, 2020 6:50AM EDT
Disney Plus Vs Netflix
  • Disney+ now has more than 50 million subscribers across the world.
  • This compares to 26.5 million Disney+ subscribers as of February of this year.
  • As a point of comparison, Netflix has 61 million subscribers based in the US alone.
  • Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.

We had a feeling Disney+ was going to be huge, but few people could have anticipated the extent to which Disney’s nascent streaming service took the US by storm. Bolstered by The Mandalorian and an incredibly strong library of existing content — a catalog which includes every season of The Simpsons — Disney+ got off to a rousing start and hasn’t slowed down since.

According to Disney executives, the cumulative tally of Disney+ subscribers now exceeds 50 million, a figure which recently skyrocketed thanks to the recent rollout of Disney+ in Europe. If you recall, Disney+ became available in the UK, Spain, Italy, Germany, Ireland, Austria, and Switzerland on March 24th.

To put the 50 million figure into context, keep in mind that Disney+ had around 26.5 million subscribers as of February of this year. In short, Disney managed to nearly double its subscription base in about two months. That’s an impressive feat no matter how you look at it. And when you consider that Disney+ launched in early November, the number of Disney+ subscribers isn’t just increasing, it’s accelerating. So while there have been analyst reports claiming that interest in Disney+ is waning, the cold hard data from Disney suggests otherwise.

“We’re truly humbled that Disney Plus 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,” Disney’s Kevin Mayer said 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+.”

So how does Disney+ stack up to Netflix these days? Well, the streaming juggernaut revealed in its most recent earnings conference call that it now has 167 million subscribers worldwide and 61 million based in the United States. Netflix is clearly still the 800 pound gorilla in the room, but Disney appears to be making up a lot of ground quickly.

Incidentally, Netflix doesn’t seem to be too worried about Disney+ to the extent that the company believes there’s enough money to go around for everyone.

As the company noted last April:

Recently, Apple and Disney each unveiled their direct-to-consumer subscription video services. We don’t anticipate that these new entrants will materially affect our growth because the transition from linear to on demand entertainment is so massive and because of the differing nature of our content offerings.

The latter point is especially on the nose insofar that Netflix and Disney+ serve up entirely different types of content. To wit, some of the most popular content on Netflix — with Tiger King and Money Heist being just two examples — would never appear on a service like Disney+.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.

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