By Jonathan Easton
Disney+ is on track to surpass the subscriber numbers of Hulu by 2024 in the US, claims an analyst report.
According to Insider Intelligence, Disney+ will have 72.4 million subscribers in 2020, amounting to 32.1 per cent of US OTT viewers. By contrast, Netflix is predicted to reach 168.9 million subs in the US, while Amazon will reach 130.1 million, and Hulu, Disney’s less IP-focused SVOD, will be in third place with 94.5 million subs.
Apple TV+, which launched in the country just before Disney+, is predicted to hit 18.8 million subs, albeit with a content library that is far smaller.
With already impressive growth for Disney+, the streamer is predicted to surpass its sister streamer Hulu by 2024. By that point, Disney+ will have 123.4 million domestic subs, while Hulu will be at 115.6 million.
eMarketer forecasting analyst at Insider Intelligence, Eric Haggstrom said: “Since its launch, Disney+ has been able to grow quickly by using a low price point and leveraging a vast library of content. Bundled offerings with Hulu and ESPN+, as well as distribution deals with Verizon, have enabled it to grow new subscriptions quickly and reduce subscriber churn.
“Disney+ has seen rapid audience growth and has partially benefitted from lockdowns and stay-at-home orders. However, while COVID-19 has helped drive adoption of the service, movie and TV production shutdowns could act as roadblocks. It will be difficult for Disney+ to continue growing viewership in 2021 with a light batch of new releases.”
At the end of Q3, Disney had over 100 million streaming subscribers globally, with a little over 60 million being for Disney+. In spite of this growth, the pandemic hit box office and theme park segments led to losses of US$5 billion.