According to research firm MoffettNathanson, the SVOD – which launched in five countries in November – has built up 25-30 million subscribers.
One third of that number is expected to be free subscribers from Disney’s deal with mobile operator Verizon. The companies announced a deal in October that would give applicable customers free access to the service for a year. In its own quarterly earnings call, Verizon did not give explicit numbers of how many of its users are utilising the offer, but the company did note that Q4 2019 saw the highest wireless net additions in six years.
Michael Nathanson of MoffettNathanson said: “From zero to where they are now is unbelievable. The company should bask in the glow of what they’ve pulled off. They didn’t play it safe. But they did the right thing for the company.
“The execution has been incredible.”
Nathanson also noted that he does not expect a price increase from the service’s current price point of US$6.99 per month “any time soon.”
This estimation is in line with a range of reports of Disney+’s success to date. In terms of its app, the service was downloaded more than 30 million times in Q4, making it the world’s ninth most downloaded app – despite its limited reach. It was also reported that Disney+ reached 15 million subscribers in its first five days while its streaming business (which also encompasses Hulu, ESPN+ and Indian Hotstar) was estimated at US$107 billion by Barclays.
Disney+ will launch in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria and Switzerland on March 24. The company has already signed an exclusive distribution deal in France with Canal+, while it is reportedly close to a similar agreement with Sky in the UK.
Elsewhere in Disney’s streaming business, Randy Freer has resigned as CEO of Hulu. The acquired streamer will now be fully operated as a part of Disney’s streaming division under Kevin Mayer.
ICYMI: France’s CNC extends relaxation of movies-on-VOD rules digitaltveurope.com/2020/04/03/fra… https://t.co/P4ZpwRGFow
4th April 2020