Disney+ finishes the quarter with 103.6 million subscribers as explosive growth slows

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,294   +132
Staff member
The big picture: Both Netflix and Disney+ saw subscriber growth slow in the first quarter of 2021, no doubt a byproduct of the unexpected surge in new members last year during the rise of Covid-19. With the global pandemic seemingly winding down, it only makes sense that growth would taper accordingly.

Disney finished its most recent quarter with 103.6 million paid Disney+ subscribers, an increase of 8.7 million customers compared to the previous quarter and up from just 33.5 million total subscribers around the same time last year.

Despite what appears to be solid growth, Wall Street was expecting more. As Variety reports, analysts told FactSet they were expecting Disney+ to finish with around 109.3 million subscribers.

Disney’s recent $1 price hike for its flagship streaming service might have factored into the platform’s performance.

The company’s other streaming platforms also managed respectable growth. ESPN+ finished the period ending April 3 with 13.8 million subscribers, up from 7.9 million a year ago, while Hulu reached 41.6 million subscribers, good for a 30 percent increase year over year. Among Hulu subscribers, only 3.8 million opted for the Live TV+ SVOD bundle.

In comparison, Netflix finished its most recent quarter with 207.64 million subscribers worldwide. Disney’s total subscriber base across all three of its streaming platforms totals 159 million.

Image credit Ivan Marc, Daniel Constante

Permalink to story.



Posts: 960   +1,399
It might have something to do with their management directives being confusing and hypocritical, lacking sound judgement.


Posts: 282   +407
Not enough new content. They really need to get content rolling into Disney+.

But I have no reason to not continue to keep paying for it, along with Netflix, Prime, and Hulu. I'm not wasting money paying for a worthless cable package with nothing on. There are always plenty of things to watch on these platforms. Honestly Disney+ is the one I use the least myself, as not a lot of new content comes its way. But I have kids so it works great for that. Especially when you have other kids over.

Netflix is still by far #1 and practically rivals having a cable subscription, or in my case blows one out the water. I never have a problem finding something to watch. Disney+ is far from being on the levels of Netflix, and Hulu was never much my thing but my wife loves it. Shows from the old school networks are nearly all trash.


Posts: 377   +133
If you don't have kids and movies theaters opening back up, then it's no real reason to hang on to Disney + annually. I have Netflix, but with them adding more and more badly dubbed foreign shows, I'm at my end.


Posts: 234   +264
If you don't have kids and movies theaters opening back up, then it's no real reason to hang on to Disney + annually. I have Netflix, but with them adding more and more badly dubbed foreign shows, I'm at my end.
I enjoy watching foreign movies and shows on netflix but I almost always watch in the original language with subtitles.


Posts: 357   +306
Not bad for just over a year.

Not bad at all. But keep in mind that they have heavily promoted Disney+ with unsustainable trials, etc over that time (they've since stopped doing free trials). Most of these services live or die on getting a lot of people to subscribe, and stay subscribed, as fast as possible (for failure, see "Quibi"!)

It's not just a bet on Disney+. It's really a bet on their Disney+/Hulu/ESPN+ empire. That bundle is their best way to eventually rival Netflix in being the 'de facto' subscription (it's arguably the main reason Hulu still exists when it's now owned by Disney and directly competes with Disney+).

Disney+ looks like a better bet than Apple TV and the countless other clones (HBO Max, etc) -- but it's still a long battle towards being an equal with Netflix.


Posts: 148   +154
I haven't renewed my subscription and let it expire. Honestly, I'm sick of paying for multiple streaming services and having Netflix and Amazon Prime gives me more then enough content to waste my time on. I really only watched the Simpsons on Disney+