It has been a good year for Disney Plus so far, with the service launching exclusive films and television shows, and acquiring millions of additional subscribers. In its quarterly earnings call on Wednesday, the Walt Disney Company announced that its popular streaming service had added a whopping 14.4 million subscribers over just the last quarter. This brings the conglomerate’s overall streaming subscriptions close to 221.1 million, making it bigger than the streaming giant Netflix.
Over the past three years, Disney Plus has grown steadily, developing a loyal user base one series at a time. The various Marvel Studios series and films have played a huge role in bringing new subscribers to the streaming service in the past year. With its latest quarter complete, the Disney Plus subscriber numbers currently stand at 152.1 million, which still doesn’t match up to Netflix's numbers. But, considering Disney has other services to offer under its rather large umbrella, the conglomerate has bypassed the streaming service that has ruled the market for years.
While Disney Plus makes up for the major chunk of the conglomerate’s streaming subscriptions, Hulu, Star, and ESPN+ contribute to the overall numbers. Hulu is currently said to have around 46.2 million subscribers, whereas ESPN+ stands at 22.8 million. The Disney Plus numbers also include the figures from Disney Plus Hotstar, a collaboration between Disney and Star India's streaming service. Netflix, on the other hand, reported 220.67 million global subscribers in their last quarterly meeting, after having lost almost 1 million subscribers.
While the conglomerate celebrates this achievement, there are some changes coming to Disney Plus that might affect its numbers negatively moving forward. Disney recently lost the streaming rights for cricket matches within the Indian market, which is bound to affect its streaming numbers. Additionally, the pricing plans for Disney Plus are also changing, with the company announcing its cheapest package will include ads starting in December.
This particular package will cost $7.99 a month in the US, which is how much the company currently charges with no ads. If subscribers want to continue the ad-free experience, they will have to pay an additional $3, rounding up the total to $10 a month as of December 8. Hulu is also increasing its price, and subscribers will have to pay at least $1 more per month depending on what package they subscribe to.
The increase in price is always a point of debate among subscribers. When Netflix bumped its prices, it lost out on many subscribers who were able to find other services that charged lesser. It remains to be seen whether Disney Plus subscribers will follow a similar route, or whether they will stay loyal to the service.
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