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Disney Tops 137 Million Streaming Subscribers

Walt Disney Co. was far from the first media company to enter the streaming business, but its video-on-demand platforms have quickly garnered an impressive number of viewers. 

Disney International Operations and Direct-to-Consumer Chairman Rebecca Campbell told investors Dec. 10 that the company’s streaming platforms have garnered more than 137 million subscriberswith the majority of those viewers using the Disney Plus service  that launched last year. 

“In just over a year Disney Plus has cemented its reputation as a singular destination for premium branded content,” Campbell said, calling consumer response to the platform “incredible.” 

Disney Plus now has 86.8 million subscribers, up from just under 74 million a month ago. The streaming service became available in 15 new countries on Nov. 17 and is set to expand into markets in Asia and Eastern Europe next year. 

Hulu, which the company acquired in 2019, has also seen steady subscriber growth in the last year. According to Disney, Hulu now has 38.8 million subscribers, up from 28.5 million a year earlier. 

In an effort to drive further subscription growth, the company announced that it will soon begin bundling three of its streaming platforms — Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and the ad-free version of Hulu—for $18.99 per month. 

With theatrical releases on hold and its theme park business battered by the pandemic, the company has redirected much of its focus toward its streaming business.  

The company also revealed plans to develop streaming content tied to core brands that have been key to Disney’s success at the box office in recent years. The company is developing 10 “Star Wars” series and 10 series set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

Disney also has plans to bring new family friendly content to Disney Plus, including 15 animated and live-action features and 15 series from Pixar and Disney Studios in the coming years. 

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