During its quarterly earnings call, Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed that the service currently has 28.6 million paid subscribers across the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands as of February 3.
With better-than-expected results, Digital TV Research has upgraded its forecasts for the service, estimating that it will add 105 million paying subscribers between the end of 2019 and 2025.
This figure will mean that Disney+ will reach 53% of Netflix’s subscriber total by the middle of the decade.
In the short term, Disney+ is rolling out in Western Europe on March 24, India on March 29 through Hotstar, and further markets “including Belgium, the Nordics and Portugal” this summer.
Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research, said: “Much of this initial growth will come from the US, principally due to the attractive bundling of Disney+ with ESPN+ and Hulu. ESPN+ and Hulu are not yet available outside the US, but we still expect strong Disney+ take-up globally.”
The research firm also believes that the top five SVODs – Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, and Apple TV+ – will share 553 million paying subscribers between them.
While Netflix is predicted to gain 51 million subscribers by 2025, its market share will decrease from 53% in 2020 to 44% in 2025, indicating growing competition.
Elsewhere HBO Max and Apple TV+ will have 30 million and 26 million paying subscribers between them by 2025, through both services heavily rely on users receiving the service for free as part of wider offers. Factoring this in, Digital TV Research says that HBO Max’s user base could be tripled.
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