Just last week, Disney+ announced that the streaming subscription service had already reached 95 million subscribers worldwide, hitting a milestone that the company didn’t intend to hit for another three years. Thanks to such substantial growth in a short amount of time, Disney+ is now projected to surpass Netflix’s overall subscriber numbers by 2026.
The Hollywood Reporter has new projections for Disney+ subscriber numbers in the future, courtesy of Digital TV Research. The report anticipates Disney+ will reach 294 million subscribers by 2026, which surpasses the 286 million subscribers they predict Netflix will have by that year. This appears to be due to Disney+ rolling out to many more international territories in the coming years, especially over a dozen Asian territories. Digital TV Research’s principal analyst Simon Murray said:
“Disney+ Hotstar will roll out to 13 Asian countries by 2026. These countries will supply 108 million (37 percent) of the global Disney+ subscriber total, but only $2.62 billion (13 percent) of the platform’s revenues by 2026. Hotstar subscribers pay less than a third of the monthly subscription fee of their U.S. counterpart.”
So despite Disney+ being expected to surpass Netflix subscriber numbers, the revenue they’re bringing in only be around half of what Netflix earns. The forecast estimates that Disney+ will have raked in $20.76 billion by 2026, but Netflix will have landed $39.52 billion. However, Netflix has been around much longer than Disney+, so the latter’s performance is even more impressive despite being so much lower than Netflix.
Interestingly enough, even though Disney+ is expected to overtake Netflix in overall subscriber numbers by 2026, it’s predicted that they will have more subscribers in just one country: India. By 2026, it’s expected that Disney+ Hotstar will have 98 million subscribers while Netflix will be far behind with just 13 million subscribers.
The massive success of Disney+ can undoubtedly be attributed to the success of The Mandalorian, and that’s just the beginning of the Star Wars universe expanding on the small screen. Plus, as Marvel Studios delivers more stories set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, plenty more fans will flock to the streaming service. There’s also a lot more Disney+ original programming on the way for fans to sink their teeth into, so the streaming service will continue to grow at a rapid pace, giving all the other streaming services a run for their money.
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