In November, Disney Plus launched in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands and Puerto Rico. Now, market analysts Credit Suisse, are already backing it to pass 20 million subscribers by the end of 2019.
This is a huge increase in the Credit Suisse forecast for the streaming platform. It had previously predicted 14.3 million subscribers would join the platform by the end of the year (via NBC).
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Just a day after its launch, the platform had pulled in 10 million subscribers, despite grappling with one or two technical errors.
In a note on Saturday, Credit Suisse analysts commented: “For Disney, we are raising our Disney Plus estimate once again to 20m as of December 31st from 14.3m due to app downloads settling out at a reasonable level and Verizon indicating Disney Plus sign-ups have come in well ahead of expectations (though we left bottom line estimates unchanged).”
The mention of Verizon is thanks to a deal Disney struck with the company, which resulted in Verizon customers being offered a free year of Disney Plus. Offers like this can be crucial in getting a streaming platform off the ground. We’ve seen Apple undertake a similar strategy, giving free Apple TV Plus to customers buying any of their top-end hardware.
There were negatives too though. The Credit Suisse analysts noted that the Disney Plus bundle, which saw ESPN+ and Hulu tagged on, had not been particularly successful. The analysts noted that the ad-supported platform, Hulu, has continued spending on marketing, including a huge Black Friday promotion.
The early signs are good for Disney Plus overall then. Not only are subscriber numbers up, but Disney’s share price is up. Equally flagship show, The Mandalorian, has received positive reviews and been far better received than the initial lineup on Apple TV Plus. It’s early days though and we’ll be keeping an eye on how ‘the streaming wars’ develop.