Disney on Tuesday announced its Disney+ streaming service has hit 100 million subscribers, 16 months after launching. The streaming service, behind the success of original shows like “The Mandalorian” and Disney’s extensive library content, reached the milestone years ahead of the company’s initial projections.
“The enormous success of Disney+ — which has now surpassed 100 million subscribers — has inspired us to be even more ambitious, and to significantly increase our investment in the development of high-quality content,” Disney CEO Bob Chapek said in a statement. “In fact, we set a target of 100+ new titles per year, and this includes Disney Animation, Disney Live Action, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic. Our direct-to-consumer business is the company’s top priority, and our robust pipeline of content will continue to fuel its growth.”
When Disney+ first launched in late 2019, Disney had estimated the company would reach 60-90 million subscribers by the start of 2024. It became apparent soon after Disney+ debuted it would easily trump the company’s estimates, with the coronavirus pandemic helping accelerate adoption of the streaming service last year. In December, Disney shared a revised streaming projection, saying the company expected to reach between 300-350 million subscribers by 2024 across Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+; Those three services at the time had 137 million subscribers altogether.
For comparison, Disney+ is now a little less than halfway to catching Netflix, the industry leader, which has 203 million global subscribers.
Tuesday’s update also comes a few weeks after Disney, at the same time it shared its Q4 earnings, reported Disney+ had nearly 95 million subscribers by the end of 2020. Beyond the U.S., Disney+ is available in 58 other countries, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, much of Europe and Latin America, and most recently, Singapore. The service, which also includes shows like “WandaVision,” recently had its monthly fee bumped up from $6.99 to $7.99 in the U.S.
Disney’s streaming success has helped keep the company’s stock price not only afloat, but booming, over the last year. Since early March 2020, Disney’s stock price has jumped from $105 to $196, even as the pandemic has kept parks like Disneyland shut down.
In other Disney-related news on Tuesday, Chapek said Disneyland is on track to reopen in late April.