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Disney+ Rushes to 60.5 Million Subscribers, Lapping First-Year Estimates From Analysts

Most analysts projected Disney+ would have about 15 million paying viewers by November

Disney on Tuesday reported its Disney+ streaming service had 60.5 million subscribers as of yesterday — putting it well ahead of analyst projections for its first year, with several months to spare.

That means Disney+ has added 6 million new subscribers since early May, which was the last time Disney shared an update. When the service launched last November, many analysts estimated Disney+ would have about 15 million subscribers after a year; Disney+ is also well ahead of Disney’s own projections, with the company estimating the service would have between 60 to 90 million subscribers by the end of 2024.

Other subscriber updates worth noting from Disney: Hulu climbed to 35.5 million subscribers, which includes 3.4 million customers paying for its live TV package. ESPN+, meanwhile, added about 600,000 to hit 8.5 million overall.

Netflix, which sits atop of the streaming mountain right now, with nearly 193 million subscribers, likely took notice of Disney’s quick streaming growth. Domestically, Netflix had about 73 million customers at the end of June, the company recently reported.

“Despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, we’ve continued to build on the incredible success of Disney+ as we grow our global direct-to-consumer businesses,” CEO Bob Chapek said. “The global reach of our full portfolio of direct-to-consumer services now exceeds an astounding 100 million paid subscriptions – a significant milestone and a reaffirmation of our DTC strategy, which we view as key to the future growth of our company.”

Disney+’s performance was one of the few bright spots for Disney when the company reported earnings on Tuesday afternoon. Disney posted a net loss of $4.7 billion, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rock both its parks and film businesses. The company’s stock price was flat in early after-hours trading, hovering near $117.50 per share.