As of this month, Disney Plus has more than 100 million subscribers. The significant milestone far eclipsed the original 60 to 90 million subscriber estimate that Disney executives had for the streaming platform by 2024. Disney Plus launched on November 12th, 2019.
What Made the Streaming Platform Such a Rapid-Fire Hit?
Star War’s first live-action series, The Mandalorian premiered on the same day Disney Plus launch. The Mandalorian was the streaming platform’s first exclusive and highly anticipated original series. Having just ended its second season last December with a Luke Skywalker cameo and a third season in the works, The Mandalorian continues to be a huge draw for Disney Plus subscriptions.
Disney owns Star Wars and Marvel, so the entire catalogue of all nine Star Wars films (plus Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Star Wars: Rebels) are only available to stream on Disney Plus. There are also around ten new Star Wars Disney Plus shows in the works, from the eagerly anticipated Kenobi to a series focusing on fan-favorite Ahsoka Tano and more.
WandaVision Becomes A Major Marvel For Disney Plus
Marvel’s first Disney Plus original series was WandaVision, which became the number one watched show in the world around four weeks after its January 15th, 2021 premiere (according to Parrot Analytics.) WandaVision was also a massive hit with fans and critics alike, spawning hundreds if not thousands of fan theory videos every week on TikTok, YouTube and more.
The story, which centered around Avenger Wanda Maximoff’s journey to accepting the grief and trauma in her life and ascending to the role of the Scarlet Witch was a great first MCU entry into the Disney Plus original television series.
With WandaVision concluded, Marvel has at least eleven other original series slated for Disney Plus, with the next show being The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which premieres on March 19th.
Marvel fans can rewatch through the entire MCU movie catalogue, starting with 2008’s Iron Man all the way up to Avengers: Endgame only on Disney Plus while they wait for the new television programs.
It’s not all just Star Wars and Marvel fare. Disney Plus also has exclusive hit movie releases, from Hamilton the Musical to the Pixar film Soul. Factor that in with the entire library of Disney animated classics, from The Little Mermaid, Tarzan, A Bug’s Life, Hercules, the original Tron, the Lion King, and so many more.
In comparison, streaming giant Netflix has around 203.6 million subscribers worldwide as of January of this year. Netflix has been around since 1997, and started out as a mailed DVD rental service, transitioning to streaming services around 2007.
Hulu announced they had 39.4 million subscribers in their February earnings call. Together, HBO and HBO Max have about 41.5 million subscribers.
There are a lot of streaming services on the market right now, and inevitably there will be more competitors in the future. Disney Plus has reached their own remarkable milestone in subscribers, and it will be interesting to see if the platform is able to keep up the momentum for years to come.