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Disney+ passes 100m subs mark

Disney+ has surpassed 100 million global paid subscribers just under a year-and-a-half after launching, with the streamer now the Mouse House’s “top priority.”

Bob Chapek

The Walt Disney Company (TWDC) CEO Bob Chapek confirmed the latest milestone for the streaming service during TWDC’s virtual annual meeting of shareholders on Tuesday.

Disney+ launched in the US in November 2019 and has rolled out rapidly across Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Latin America and, most recently, Singapore since then.

It is now available in 59 countries and has far exceeded the expectations the Mouse House initially had for its direct-to-consumer (D2C) service, aided in part by the pandemic providing a massive boost to subscription streamers.

This has cushioned the significant blow the global crisis has dealt other key parts of the media giant’s business as a result of the forced closure of theme parks and cinemas.

Chapek said the figures have “inspired us to be even more ambitious, and to significantly increase our investment in the development of high-quality content.”

He added: “In fact, we set a target of 100-plus new titles per year, and this includes Disney Animation, Disney Live Action, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic. Our direct-to-consumer business is the company’s top priority, and our robust pipeline of content will continue to fuel its growth.”

This follows TWDC last year restructuring its media and entertainment businesses to accelerate its D2C push following the launch of Disney+.

Some analysts predict Disney+ will have more subscribers than market leader Netflix five years from now.

The UK’s Digital TV Research recently forecasted Disney+ will reach 294 million subscribers in 2026, overtaking Netflix, which will have 286 million by that time.

In some international markets, general entertainment brand Star has been added to Disney+’s offer, bringing subscribers more adult-orientated TV programming and movies drawn mostly from the 20th Century Fox catalogue, as well as originals.

Last month Disney+ unveiled a slate of 10 new European commissions as part of its ambition to commission 50 productions in Europe by 2024.


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