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News Article

Disney+ Hits 94.9 Million Subscribers

By Andrea Villar | Fri, 02/12/2021 - 10:31

The streaming war is heating up. By the end of its 1Q21, which ended in early January, Disney+ reached 94.9 million subscribers, above the 90.2 million analysts expected. In the previous quarter, the Mickey Mouse company said its streaming service would have 230 million to 260 million subscribers by 2024.

Although its revenue fell 22 percent year-on-year to US$16.249 billion, the figure was better than the expected US$15.92 billion, according to Bloomberg. “We believe the strategic actions we are taking to transform our company will drive our growth and enhance shareholder value, as evidenced by the incredible progress we have made,” said Disney CEO Bob Chapek in the report. “We are confident that, with our robust pipeline of exceptional, high-quality content and the upcoming launch of our new Star-branded international general entertainment offering, we are well-positioned to achieve even greater success going forward,” Chapek added.

In addition to the 94.9 million subscribers on Disney+, the firm has 12.1 million users on ESPN+ and 39.4 million on Hulu. The company highlighted in November its strong bet on exclusive shows and movies, which include more than 70 productions for Latin America developed in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Colombia.

Fierce Competition

Although it took Netflix a decade to achieve this milestone, analysts agree that the platform, home to series such as Stranger Things and Queen's Gambit, paved the way and has attracted users to streaming since 1999 when it began offering its online subscription services. The pandemic, however, gave a boost to all streaming services and that has enabled their rapid growth. 

In 4Q20, Netflix surpassed the 200 million subscriber mark. The streaming giant added 8.51 million subscribers, surpassing the expected 6.01 million by 41 percent. Back in November, Disney+ arrived in the Mexican market, in which Netflix leads with a 36 percent market share, followed by Amazon Prime Video with 22 percent, Claro Video with 14 percent and HBO Go with 11 percent, according to CNET. But another player is about to enter the market. In June 2021, HBO Max will join Mexico’s market and will replace the regional HBO Go service.  Prices have not yet been disclosed, but it is estimated that they will remain at MX$195 (US$9.7), which is the price of the existing service. This platform will feature all of Warner Bros.’ releases from this year, the company said in a statement. 

Photo by:   Disney Plus
Andrea Villar Andrea Villar Journalist and Industry Analyst