Disney Plus acquires 100 million subscribers in 16 months
Disney Plus has scripted history as the streaming platform has amassed more than 100 million subscribers in less than a year and a half after it was launched. The milestone was announced at the annual shareholders' meeting. In the last announcement in February, it was made known that till January 2, 2021, the streamer had a little over 94 million subscribers.
Talking about the proud achievement, CEO Bob Chapek said in a statement, "The enormous success of Disney Plus has inspired us to be even more ambitious, and to significantly increase our investment in the development of high-quality content." He also added that they have set a target of hosting over 100 new titles per year. This includes Disney Animation, Marvel, National Geographic, etc.
Though it isn't clear what helped the platform reach the historic milestone, the recent success of WandaVision could be a reason. Another successful show, Raya and the Last Dragon, could have also played a part. Funnily, Disney's own executives predicted that the streamer would gather 60-90 million subscribers by 2024, reports The Verge. Chapek said Disney's "direct-to-consumer business is the company's top priority."
Now that it has performed exceptionally well, the company has set its eye on another target. It wants 300-350 million subscribers across all its platforms — Disney+, ESPN+, StarPlus, and Hotstar by 2024. The platform is also working on several series from major franchises and trying to get more mid-tier content, essentially the content that is not Marvel's and Star Wars'.
Even though the streaming service achieved this milestone in a relatively shorter time, analysts are still unsure about the revenue breakdown. Disney's Chief Financial Officer, Christine McCarthy, made known that 30% of Disney Plus's subscriber base comes from Disney+ HotStar. Notably, in January, Netflix's Vice-President of Investor Relations, Spencer Wang, had taken a jibe at the numbers of the competitor, by calling Hotstar a different entity.
"Not to take anything away at all from what Disney's done because it's been amazing and I'm a happy customer myself, but 30% of their 87 million paid subscribers were Hotstar [in India], which I think we all recognize is a different service, (sic)" he had said.