Disney+ got off to a very strong start following its release in November. Disney reported today that the streaming service had 26.5 million paying subscribers as of December 28, 2019, and a total of 28.6 million as of February 3.
“The launch of Disney+ has been enormously successful, exceeding even our greatest expectations,” Disney CEO Bob Iger said on the company’s earnings call, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Analysts anticipated subscribers to reach up to 25 million for the period, so the numbers are ahead of expectations. Disney+ costs $7-per-month in the United States, which is below the monthly cost of a Netflix subscription.
The average revenue per Disney+ subscriber for the period was $5.56. Driving that figure down were a number of promotions, including free Disney+ for Verizon users and pre-sale bundles that offered discounted rates for those who sign up for three years. According to Iger, 20 percent of Disney+ users came to the platform from the Verizon freebie. As such, Disney+’s profit profile should get better over time as the discounts expire.
By comparison, Netflix had 167 million paying subscribers globally by the company’s latest count.
Disney’s other streaming service, Hulu, had 30.4 million paying subscribers by the end of 2019, while ESPN+ had 7.6 million subscribers. Disney’s streaming business–across Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+, and others–remains a money-loser for the company. This segment posted a loss of $693 million during the period, but this is all to be expected as Disney builds the infrastructure. As announced previously, Disney expects Disney+ to turn a profit in 2024. The company also expects to have as many as 90 million Disney+ subscribers by 2024.
Notably, Disney+ is only available in a limited number of countries thus far. Disney plans to continue to roll out the platform in other parts of the world throughout 2020 and beyond.
One of the most highly touted pieces of content on Disney+ right now is the Star Wars TV show, The Mandalorian (which returns for a second season in October 2020). Looking beyond that, Iger teased that Disney is considering spin-offs based on The Mandalorian characters, though he did not single out any characters in particular. The executive also said Disney will focus on Disney+ for future Star Wars projects, at least for the next few years.
Even more news came out of the Disney earnings call today–check out the stories below to learn more.
- Disney Plus The Falcon And Winter Soldier And WandaVision Get Rough Release Dates
- Disney Plus Has Seven Marvel Series In Development
- The Mandalorian Season 2 Release Date Set For October On Disney Plus
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