After two weeks it is clear: Disney+ is a real threat to Netflix

After two weeks it is clear: Disney+ is a real threat to Netflix
If you're an executive with Netflix or Amazon Prime Video or Hulu, no one can blame you for feeling a bit more nervous than usual. There is a mouse in the house that is making these buttoned-down executives jump on their chairs and scream. No, we aren't talking about a real rodent here. Actually, the mouse we have in mind is named Mickey and remains the face of The Walt Disney Company.

A bit more than two weeks ago, the entertainment giant launched Disney+, a new streaming video service that is heavy on the nostalgia but also puts well-known characters into new situations. Surprisingly, Disney is undercutting the competition. After a seven-day free trial, users pay $6.99 a month (or $69.99 for a year) to place up to 10 devices on an account. Up to four screens can access the service at one time, and this price includes 4K streaming when available. To get a similar account on Netflix, you would have to pay $14.99 a month. And Disney+ is more than just animation and television shows for kids; the service includes the Star Wars franchise, Marvel movies, and even content from National Geographic.

After getting off to a rocky start on launch day, Disney has been working on making little improvements to the streamer's UI. It also managed to sign up 10 million subscribers after the first 24 hours, although how many signed up for the trial is impossible to guess. In addition, Verizon is offering its unlimited subscribers a free-year of service. This could end up benefiting Disney since some of those subscribers will no doubt convert into paying customers. Interestingly, it appears that many signing up for Disney+ are shelling out for a monthly or annual subscription right away without taking advantage of the free trial period.

Disney+ is a real threat to Netflix and its 60 million U.S. and 97 million global subscribers


And now, according to Apptopia, the Disney+ mobile app has been installed 15.5 million times during its first 13 days. That works out to over 1 million installs a day. And during that time period, the platform brought in $5 million from in-app purchases (mainly subscriptions). Note that this figure does not include subscriptions paid for through the Disney+ website. Over the last week, there were 25.6 million daily viewing sessions on Disney+.


Disney's target is Netflix, the leading video streamer with 60 million U.S. subscribers and 97 million global members. And while Disney+ is off to a great start, there is a question whether the Burbank based entertainment giant has merely picked the low-hanging fruit consisting of Disney fans who would be interested in anything that the company launches. But there is some data that indicates that the success of Disney+ goes beyond getting Disney fanatics to sign up for the service. Apptopia says that there is strong demand for the $12.99 per month bundle offered by Disney which includes Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+. Over the two weeks that the bundle has been available, Hulu downloads are up 55% while downloads of ESPN+ are up by 50%. Joanna Piacenza, senior data editor at Morning Consult, says, "I think everyone’s best bet is to bundle streaming services for the consumer so they don’t have to bundle it themselves.

Wall Street has also fallen for Disney+ as the company's shares have risen 10.8% from $136.74 the day before the streamer's launch to close Friday at $151.48. Wedbush analyst Dan Ives says, "This shows the company is gonna be a legit competitor to the likes of Netflix, despite the skeptics that continue to doubt the House of Mouse. The pricing, the content and the bundling was just a pure genius strategy from (CEO Bob) Iger and Disney."

You can install Disney+ for your iOS or Android device from the App Store or Google Play Store respectively.

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