Disney Plus is off to a great start, but has a long way to go to rival Netflix
More than 50 million people are now paying for a Disney Plus subscription.
It’s a significant milestone, which comes just under five months after the service first went live in the US, Canada and the Netherlands on November 12. The streaming service has now gone live in 17 countries and territories, including the UK, where it launched on March 24.
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Disney hasn’t revealed subscriber numbers for individual countries apart from India, which has already racked up eight million paid subscribers despite the fact the service only launched there on March 29.
The service certainly appears to have received a big boost from Europe though. As of February 3, when Disney Plus was only available in the US, Canada and Netherlands, it had 28.6 million paid subscribers − a shade over half of today’s figure.
“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,” said Kevin Mayer, the chairman of Disney’s direct-to-consumer and international division.
Netflix, by comparison, had 167.1 million paid subscribers by the end of 2019, having added a net total of 27.8 million paid memberships over the course of the year. At that time, it also had 4.7 million free users.
Disney Plus, meanwhile, is aiming to have between 60 million and 90 million subscribers by the end of 2024.
Disney’s announcement helps to highlight just how impressive Netflix’s continual growth has been. The company’s streaming business has now been going for more than 10 years, which means it’s much harder to add new customers. While it isn’t expanding as quickly as Disney Plus is at present, Netflix is still marching at an astonishing rate.
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Disney Plus offers a seven-day free trial, though the company hasn’t yet revealed how many people have taken advantage of it.