Disney+ DIS -3.7% has reached 100 million paid global subscribers, The Walt Disney Company DIS -3.7% announced today. The popular streaming service rivals Netflix NFLX +2.7%, Discovery+, and more as each platform tries to reach more and more people through innovative new shows and classic programming from their umbrella of networks and studios.
Disney+ reached this milestone in just 16 months since launching in November 2019. “The enormous success of Disney+ —which has now surpassed 100 million subscribers—has inspired us to be even more ambitious, and to significantly increase our investment in the development of high-quality content,” Bob Chapek, CEO of The Walt Disney Company said. “In fact, we set a target of 100+ new titles per year, and this includes Disney Animation, Disney Live Action, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic. Our direct-to-consumer business is the Company’s top priority, and our robust pipeline of content will continue to fuel its growth.”
In recent months Disney has noted that much of their new content would be streamed exclusively on Disney+ including the popular Star Wars series The Mandalorian, which has been renewed for a third season, Marvel’s upcoming series The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, and most recently Disney Animation Studios’ animated feature Raya and the Last Dragon.
With new series being added to the streaming service almost weekly, Disney creatives across each studio have encouraged fans to watch both theatrical releases and Disney+ original series as many of them will tie together. The best instance of this is with Marvel Studios looking to tie in the events of WandaVision with upcoming movies like Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
The pent up demand for movies has given Disney an edge with releasing films like Hamilton, Onward, and Soul on the service all for free and bringing more subscribers in to watch these Disney+ exclusives. While fans have enjoyed watching movies that were originally set for theatrical debut for free, Disney has also been experimenting with an additional cost for some films called Premier Access. Movies like Mulan and Raya and the Last Dragon have both launched on Disney+ the same day that they debut in theaters but fans have voiced their disdain for the extra cost of $29.99 on top of the monthly subscription fee for the streaming service.
Disney continues to experiment with Premier Access, but has not made final decisions about films like the highly anticipated Marvel Studios Black Widow, which is still set to debut solely in theaters in May worldwide.
Disney+ is capitalizing on what Disney as a company is best at, storytelling and the sense of nostalgia. Storytelling allows the audience to be captivated by new characters and new places as seen with Star Wars: The Clone Wars season seven. The sense of nostalgia allows adults and kids to relieve parts of their lives that mean the most, like a family vacation as seen with series like The Imagineering Story. As long as those two ingredients are in the mix with Disney+ there’s no telling how many subscribers and loyal fans the streaming service will pick up in the next 16 months. Forbes