The Mouse is on a roll and there is nothing Goofy about it. Disney reports that through this past Monday, its Disney+ video streaming service counted 28.6 million subscribers after launching just under three months ago on November 12th. The company also released paid subscriber figures for ESPN+ and Hulu, which came out to 7.6 million and 30 million respectively.
While Disney+ launched in various markets including the U.S. last November, it still hasn't been made available to those living in Western Europe. Consumers and Disneyphiles in markets like the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, and Switzerland will get their first shot at using Disney+ on March 24th. Five days later, the service will launch in India. Later this summer, it will be offered in Belgium, the Nordics, and Portugal.
Disney blew a golden opportunity by not knowing what it had with The Mandalorian's Baby Yoda
The Mandalorian. The show also produced the first mega-superstar character from the streamer, Baby Yoda. Somehow Disney's crack marketing team missed the opportunity to sell millions of dollars worth of Baby Yoda dolls this past holiday shopping season; it won't make the same mistake twice. With the first season of the show complete, the second season is expected to be released this coming October-November. Remember, Disney+ doesn't drop an entire season at once as Netflix does. Instead, new episodes are available on a weekly basis.The services' first breakout hit is also the first live-action series in the Star Wars franchise,
And speaking of Netflix, many can't fathom the possibility that Disney+ might give Netflix a run for its money in the long term. Consider that while it took Disney+ slightly less than three months to hit 28.6 million global subscribers, it took Netflix two years of offering streaming service to reach the same number of subscribers according to the Wall Street Journal. Netflix now has 167 million members worldwide.
After reporting its fiscal first-quarter earnings yesterday, Disney CEO Bob Iger said during a conference call that, "The launch of Disney+ has been enormously successful, exceeding even our greatest expectations." Iger also noted that 65% of Disney+ viewers who watched The Mandalorian also viewed 10 other movies or shows on the platform. And speaking of other shows, during the Super Bowl Disney+ teased its upcoming Marvel-based series including the Captain America spinoff "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier," set to debut in August.
There have been a couple of setbacks for Disney+. The eagerly awaited Lizzie McGuire reboot with Hilary Duff starring in the titular role has been on hiatus even before a single episode was streamed. That's because after filming two episodes, showrunner Terri Minsky (who also created the show) quit. A Disney spokesman (no, not Donald Duck) said, "Fans have a sentimental attachment to Lizzie McGuire and high expectations for a new series. After filming two episodes, we concluded that we need to move in a different creative direction and are putting a new lens on the show."
A similar issue occurred with another highly anticipated series that will see Ewan McGregor reprise his big-screen role as Obi-Wan Kenobi. Both Disney+ and Disney-owned Lucasfilm rejected the only two scripts that were finished. Despite this setback, Disney must believe that the force is with it since it is not changing the previous premiere date for the series. However, there is talk that the season will consist of only four episodes instead of the original six.
Disney+, unlike most products and services with the Disney name, is actually a bargain. Priced at $6.99 per month, subscribers can register seven different user profiles on one account, view content on four different devices simultaneously and view shows and movies in 4K. To have the same features on Netflix, one would have to shell out $14.99 a month.