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Disney+ tops 100 million subscribers worldwide

Staff Writer

Disney+ has officially broken the 100 million barrier.

The House of Mouse’s subscription service, which arrived on UK shores almost exactly a year ago, first launched in the USA back in November 2019. Since then, it has enjoyed meteoric growth, rising to 94.9 million paid subscribers last month and now, within 16 months of its original launch, it has more than 100 million.

Bob Chapek, Chief Executive Officer, announced the news yesterday to shareholders.

“The enormous success of Disney+ — which has now surpassed 100 million subscribers — has inspired us to be even more ambitious, and to significantly increase our investment in the development of high-quality content,” he said. “In fact, we set a target of 100+ new titles per year, and this includes Disney Animation, Disney Live Action, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic. Our direct-to-consumer business is the company’s top priority, and our robust pipeline of content will continue to fuel its growth.”

The service most recently enjoyed a major boost from the addition of Star in the UK, a home for 20th Century Studios titles and other productions geared more towards an adult audience than its typical family-friendly fare. It joins dedicated streaming homes for all of Disney’s brands, including Star Wars, Pixar, Marvel and National Geographic, and rounds out the service’s proposition to something significantly broader.

The growth of Disney+ places the subscription service at roughly half the size of Netflix, with the rival streamer passing the 200 million milestone at the end of 2020. While the two are competitors, though, Disney has also benefited from the slipstream of the existing streamer’s success, which has paved the way for the technological advances needed for Disney to grow, and for audience behaviour and appetite to shift towards streaming as well. Both companies have also received a boost from the growing demand of viewers around the world for titles to watch in their living rooms, as they remain at home during the coronavirus pandemic. With Disney+ debuting key films such as Raya and the Last Dragon and Nomadland this spring, Disney will be expecting to continue its rapid growth in the near future and beyond.

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