Disney+ Now Has Over 73 Million Subscribers

Posted on November 12, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Disney+ with 21 Comments

As part of its quarterly earnings announcement, Disney revealed that it had 73.7 million Disney+ subscribers as of October 3, 2020 and over 120 million subscribers across Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+.

“Even with the disruption caused by COVID-19, we’ve been able to effectively manage our businesses while also taking bold, deliberate steps to position our company for greater long-term growth,” Disney CEO Bob Chapek said in a prepared statement. “The real bright spot has been our direct-to-consumer business, which is key to the future of our company, and on this anniversary of the launch of Disney+ we’re pleased to report that, as of the end of the fourth quarter, the service had more than 73 million paid subscribers, far surpassing our expectations in just its first year.”

Disney+ has absolutely had an amazing first year: It launched in November 2019, had over 26 million subscribers by early February 2020, and then over 50 million by April. Hulu hit 36.6 million subscribers by the end of September, 32.5 million of which pay for streaming video only, while 4.1 million also pay for live TV services. And ESPN+ has 10.3 million subscribers.

A couple of data points. In just one year, Disney+ has roughly twice the number of subscribers as does Hulu, which has been in business for 13 years. And by comparison, market leader Netflix has over 195 million customers, 73 million of which are in the U.S. and Canada.

Join the discussion!


Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Comments (21)

21 responses to “Disney+ Now Has Over 73 Million Subscribers”

  1. illuminated

    Disney+ is meh but with Hulu subscription it is only $2/month. Not worth otherwise but good add-on subscription if you have Hulu.

  2. helix2301

    My wife and I both said for us Disney is essential to have Star Wars and Marvel which are two of our favorite things to watch for us Disney has a lot of the A list movies. I am not suprised its grown so fast plus the Pandemic has helped with people staying home.

  3. duncanator

    I imagine that this is one of those services where a parent can sit a child in front of this and not worry too much about content.

  4. crunchyfrog

    Am I the only one who's getting tired of the Baby Yoda obsession?

    • thretosix

      In reply to crunchyfrog:

      There's a lot more to the show than Baby Yoda. It's only a matter of time before Din DJarin finds someone to leave him with. Last weeks episode really starts to show where the show can go. I believe the focus will shift in future seasons. Moff Gideon having the darksaber is the bigger story. I won't get into too much more because it would start to involve spoilers for people who haven't seen it.

    • illuminated

      In reply to crunchyfrog:

      It looks a bit overdone. Could be marketing. Astroturfing works in politics so why not use it to advertise the streaming service.

  5. crunchyfrog

    I'm not surprised by these numbers. After all, Disney has sucked up every major studio like Marvel, Lucas and Pixar, plus the entire Disney catalog makes for a compelling sales pitch. Combine that with a global pandemic and you've got a recipe for success.

  6. ghostrider

    Once the first year sub is up, and people can't take Disney, Pixar and Marvel any more, and all those other clean living Disney branded shows where everyone is perfect and nobody swears, you could see a significant drop. Many haven't even paid anything for what they're watching so far - it's been freebies all the way. The only other single thing on Disney worth watching is the Mandalorian, and even that is so toned down from what it would really be like.

  7. StevenLayton

    Disney+ is always on in our house, with a 6 year old and a 14 year old. I think I know every episode of Clone Wars off by heart now, lol.

  8. harmjr

    $73.6m X $6.99 = 514,464,000 yea I think someone is getting a bonus.

    • naro

      In reply to harmjr:

      Think I paid $3.99 per month for 3 years. Good deal, a lot of people got it for free with cable or paid the early signup deal lump sum for the 3 years, I assumed they'd probably start raising the price within those 3 years and my return on investment would be pretty good. They'll really be making bank with every $2-$3 price hike!

  9. solomonrex

    Hulu always suffered by comparison to Netflix because the content was so unreliable in availability - it started so long ago that the networks wouldn't commit to making things available even with paid tiers. The issue isn't that shows came and went like Netflix, clearly, it was that only x number of recent episodes were available, etc. A terrible compromise that no one liked. It was like an ad-driven DVR that you couldn't skip the ads on. It didn't make much sense and even now it's less functional and appealing than Disney+ even though it has a surprising amount of content.

    I'm not sure what Disney should do with it? I can see them managing the streaming platforms separately for content, but Hulu should just be a reskin of Disney+, not completely different apps. Hulu live TV should be something entirely separate imo. There are many people trying to converge streaming and live TV and while I subscribe to SlingTV (low price for basketball) it doesn't really work well. On-demand, DVR, live TV, it's just too much for a TV remote. The cable companies have proven this for decades, and no one wants to go back once they're on Netflix/Disney/Youtube/etc.

    Amazon's on-demand interface has some portals to live TV, only as necessary, which makes more sense and looks like the future. Like, only sporting events that are called out on the front page. That simplified things enormously and makes intuitive sense. In the future, just see the teams you care about. Most of ESPN doesn't make sense any more, outside of being left on at bars. It should all be on-demand.

  10. Daekar

    I have been pleased with the content on Disney+, although I have to admit that it is definitely in the backseat compared to YouTube. It's nice to have access to clean family content though, for those times when you're in the mood for something with more story than information or authenticity.

  11. ronh

    Some of the Nat Geo stuff is outstanding

Leave a Reply