It might have not nearly the amount of content that Netflix or Amazon currently offer, but it seems the lure of Star Wars, Marvel, Pixel and Disney’s other content along with Fox shows like the Simpsons is enough to appeal to large number anyway, as Disney CEO Bob Iger announced during the company’s recent earnings call that the Disney+ service had hit 28.6 million subscribers (as revealed by The Verge). That far exceeds Disney’s initial estimate of hitting 20 million by the end of 2020.
The subscriber growth helped Disney beat its overall earnings, coming in at $28.6 billion in revenue, above the projected. Disney’s direct-to-consumer division, which is where streaming exists, saw a growth of $900 million to $4 billion in the quarter. This might seem like relatively small numbers when compared to the amount of money the company makes at the box office. However, if you consider that outside of the TV series, many of the films on the streaming service have already earned all that money at the box office and that Disney is now earning this kind of money again at a subscriber level that is easier to maintain, it means that the company is sitting on a gold mine here.
Disney also recorded gains in subscribers for its two other streaming services, Hulu and ESPN+. Hulu went from 22.8 million subscribers at the end of December 2018 to 30.4 million by the end of 2019. ESPN+ went from 1.4 million at the end of December 2018 to 6.6 million at the end of 2019, though it’s likely these increases were largely driven by the $12.99-a-month bundle that Disney offered to its US subscribers. How many of these subscribers result from people watching via VPN from countries like ours, is unknown by the company.
With even more shows coming its way over the next few years and more countries receiving the streaming service officially, its likely Disney+ will only grow in popularity. And a big component of that appeal will be the Marvel Cinematic Universe which will see several TV series – which tie into the theatrical movies – launching on the service. We already knew that The Falcon & The Winter Soldier was dropping in August of this year, but now Iger has also confirmed that the hotly anticipated WandaVision will drop a few months later in December. Unfortunately, no word on a release date for Loki which is expected to land next year.
However, that wasn’t the big news though as Iger went on to claim that there were seven other Marvel series in various stage of development or pre-production. Considering we only know of five others in Hawkeye, She-Hulk, Moon Knight, Ms Marvel and What If…? it means that there are at least still two more Marvel shows coming our way. What could they possibly be? Your guess is as good as ours.
It’s a great time to be a Marvel fan but perhaps an even better time to be a Disney shareholder as the company just keeps growing from strength to strength and dominating where our entertainment money all goes to.
Last Updated: February 5, 2020