Things are looking good for Disney+ as the subscription service has already amassed nearly 30 million subscribers. The service launched in November 2019 and was intended to help Disney compete with the likes of Netflix in the streaming game, which has become an increasingly important part of the business in recent years. While they still have a long way to go to catch up with Netflix, these early numbers are encouraging.
The news was revealed by Disney CEO Bob Iger during a recent earnings call. Overall, it was a strong quarter, with the company exceeding expectations in several areas. One of those was Disney+ subscriber growth. The service added 26.5 million subscribers in the quarter, giving them a total of 28.6 million subscribers worldwide. This has helped Disney bounce back from a rough quarter following the Fox merger, which saw a number of movies flop at the box office. Iger had this to say in a statement.
"We had a strong first quarter, highlighted by the launch of Disney+, which has exceeded even our greatest expectations,. Thanks to our incredible collection of brands, outstanding content from our creative engines and state-of-the-art technology, we believe our direct-to-consumer services, including Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu, position us well for continued growth in today's dynamic media environment."
Disney+ is the cornerstone of the company's streaming play, but ESPN+ and Hulu are also very important. Hulu, specifically, allows the company an outlet for more adult-friendly content that isn't suitable for Disney+. With ESPN+, they have a major footing in the sports world, which can be incredibly lucrative. Disney+ goes for $6.99 per month or $69.99 annually. Disney also provides a bundle option, which gives access to all three streaming services for $12.99 per month.
Netflix has more than 150 million subscribers worldwide and has effectively changed the game in Hollywood over the last decade. Every studio is trying to get in on the action, with HBO Max, the short-form content based Quibi and NBC's Peacock all set to launch this year as well. That means consumers will have many options available to them in the streaming arena. And, with every service fighting for exclusive, in-demand content, watching everything one wishes to watch could get expensive. Netflix saw its subscriber growth explode when they started focusing on high-profile original content. That has become the business model.
For Disney, that includes mining its biggest franchise. The service launched with the first ever live-action Star Wars show, The Mandalorian, which went on to become a huge hit, largely thanks to Baby Yoda. Season 2 is set to arrive on October. Disney+ also has a host of live-action Marvel shows on the way, including The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and WandaVision, which are both set to arrive this year as well. Other Marvel shows in the works include Loki, Hawkeye, She-Hulk, Moon Knight and Ms. Marvel. This news was previously reported by CNN.