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Disney+ subscriber base skyrocketed by 62% over the last five weeks

Published May 6th, 2020 7:36PM EDT
Disney Plus
Image: LucasFilm

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  • Disney+ now has 54.5 million subscribers.
  • Disney+ saw its subscriber base skyrocket by 62% over the last five weeks alone.
  • As a point of comparison, Netflix currently has more than 182 million subscribers across the globe, and 69.9 million subscribers in North America.
  • Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.


posted its earnings results for the recent March quarter and revealed that Disney+ now has more than 54.5 million subscribers. The success of Disney+ was something of a rare bright spot this quarter as Disney saw significant revenue drops across its parks and cruise ship divisions on account of the coronavirus.

The success of Disney+ is beyond impressive given how crowded the streaming market is these days. With established players like Netflix and HBO rolling out new content at breakneck speed, the fact that Disney+ has been able to garner nearly 55 million subscribers in less than five months is nothing short of astounding.

What’s more, the number of Disney+ subscribers isn’t only increasing, it’s accelerating. As of March 28, which is about four months after the service launched, Disney+ had about 33.5 million subscribers. Just about five weeks later, Disney+ saw its subscriber base skyrocket by 21 million users.

Of course, a big reason behind the impressive increase is that Disney+ debuted in Europe on March 24 and became available in the UK, Spain, Italy, Germany, Ireland, Austria, and Switzerland. Another reason behind Disney Plus’ surge is that the coronavirus has left millions of Americans quarantined at home and in need of any type of entertainment. Incidentally, Netflix during the recent March quarter added nearly 16 million new subscribers, a figure which is more than double what many analysts were anticipating.

Interestingly, Disney noted that the number of Disney+ subscribers as of March 28 (33.5 million) was higher than the cumulative number of Hulu subscribers (32.1 million). Still, it’s worth noting that the average Hulu subscriber without the live TV package still brings in more revenue than the average Disney+ subscriber. Whereas the average Disney+ subscriber yields about $5.63 in monthly revenue, the average Hulu subscriber brings in an average of $12.06 per month.

Looking ahead, Disney executives have said that they expect Disney+ to have anywhere from 60 million to 90 million subscribers by the end of 2024. As it stands now, there’s a strong possibility Disney+ will blow past the 70 million threshold sooner rather than later.

While Disney+ was initially viewed as a Netflix-killer, the reality is that there’s enough room in the marketplace for both services to thrive. Both services are remarkably cheap relative to the amount of content they bring to the table, and there’s no indication just yet that Disney+ is prompting Netflix subscribers to leave the service en masse.

Even Netflix last year said that it’s not worried about Disney+ having a material impact on its subscriber base.

“Recently, Apple and Disney each unveiled their direct-to-consumer subscription video services,” Netflix said in a letter to shareholders. “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.”

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.