Disney Plus is a new streaming service launched by the American entertainment titan in November 2019, a little over two years after being announced.
Disney first signalled an intention to move into the streaming market in 2016, by acquiring a minority stake in streaming technology developer BAMTech. This became a 75 percent stake the following year. The service is part of Disney’s growing direct-to-consumer business, which also includes ESPN+, Hulu and Hotstar.
Anticipation levels were certainly high for the launch, with Disney Plus the top-trending Google search term in the US in 2019. Within 24 hours the eagerly-awaited new platform had reached 10 million subscribers (though some of these had signed up pre-release).
Star Wars spin-off The Mandalorian, featuring Baby Yoda, helped cement platform’s flying start, becoming the world’s most in-demand show for a time. By April 2020, the streaming platform reached 50 million subscribers.
Disney Plus’s great strength is its content. At launch, the service offered a much smaller content library than rivals like Netflix or Amazon. It is acknowledged, however, that’s Disney’s strengths lie in quality over quantity, with Pixar, Lucasfilm and Marvel all developing content for the service.
The Star Wars franchise, to which The Mandalorian belongs, was the first major hit for the streaming platform. The entire back catalogue of The Simpsons is also available, and Disney has pulled various TV shows and movies from Netflix and other streaming services.
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Marvel’s Wandavision was the second success for the streaming service, drawing in millions of new subscribers. It will be interesting to see what Disney’s next hit is, and if it will push more movies to the streaming platform in the future.
Disney Plus looks to be the third-pillar for many consumers, alongside Netflix and Amazon Prime. With over 100 million subscribers as of March 2021, it appears to be scaling far ahead of rival services which launched at similar times, such as HBO Max and Peacock.
We’ve collected data and statistics on Disney Plus. Read on below to find out more.
Disney Plus key statistics
- Disney Plus is projected to make over $10 billion for Disney in 2021, up from an estimated $4.5 billion in 2020
- Disney Plus reached over 100 million subscribers in March 2021
- The app has been downloaded over 150 million times since launch
Disney Plus overview
|Launch date||12 November 2019|
|People||Michael Paull (President, Disney+) Eric Lieberman (SVP),|
|Owner||The Walt Disney Company|
Disney Plus revenue
|Q1 2020||$442 million|
|Q2 2020||$565 million|
|Q3 2020||$796 million|
|Q4 2020||$999 million|
|Q1 2021||$1.11 billion|
|Q2 2021||$1.24 billion|
|Q3 2021||$1.44 billion|
Sources: Forbes, The Walt Disney Company
Disney direct-to-consumer revenue
Note: Direct-to-consumer revenue includes Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu and Hotstar. Hulu was added in 2019
Source: The Walt Disney Company
Disney Plus users
Disney Plus annual subscribers
Note: Disney’s fiscal year ends late September of the corresponding year.
Source: The Walt Disney Company
Disney Plus downloads
|H1 2020||50 million|
|H2 2020||100 million|
|H1 2021||125 million|
Disney vs Netflix: subscribers
Disney Plus FAQ
How many TV shows are available in Disney Plus?
Disney Plus content library contains 7,500 TV episodes and 500 films (Variety)
How many watched The Mandalorian?
The Mandalorian was the most popular TV show in the US in 2020, with over 14.5 billion minutes watched (BI)
How much did Mulan make on opening weekend?
Mulan brought in $35.5 million on opening weekend when it debuted on Disney Plus
How much will Disney spend on streaming content?
Disney has said it will spend between $14 to $16 billion on streaming content by 2024. It currently spends less than half that amount (Deadline)