In a nutshell: The popularity of Disney Plus keeps on growing. The streaming service now boasts 116 million subscribers, beating analysts’ expectations of 112 million to 115 million. The figure marks an increase of 12.4 million subscribers between April and June.
Disney Plus introduced plenty of content during the last quarter to attract new subs. Its most popular offerings were original Pixar film Luca, the live-action Cruella, and the latest Marvel series—Loki. It also revealed that VOD sales for Black Widow earned it $60 million in its opening weekend, in addition to the $158 million it made at the box office. But the simultaneous release has brought a lawsuit from star Scarlett Johansson.
Disney also revealed that Hulu subscribers had hit 42.8 million, and ESPN Plus membership, which gets another price hike today, now stands at 14.9 million.
Disney Plus still has some way to go before reaching Netflix’s 209 million global subscribers, but it’s important to remember that the service is less than two years old, whereas its main rival first started giving members the option to stream titles back in 2007.
Disney predicts it will reach between 230 million and 260 million global users by late 2024, at which point it will have been live for just five years. The company passed its original five-year subscriber goal in its first nine months after launch.
While it did beat predictions for subscribers in the latest quarter, Disney is feeling the hangover from 2020, a time when people flocked to streaming services. With most of the world stuck indoors, it attracted almost double the number of new subs (24 million) during the same April – June period last year. Disney is also dealing with a slew of competitors, including Apple and HBO. But with the likes of the Obi-Wan series and a new Mandalorian season on the way, the future looks rosy.