Disney+ Surpasses 10 Million Sign-Ups Since Launch

Disney’s new streaming service, Disney+, has already seen 10 million sign-ups since launching Tuesday, the company announced Wednesday.

Disney’s stock was up 7.35% by Wednesday’s close, adding more than $13 billion to its market cap, which now sits at $268 billion. Netflix shares were down 3.1%.

Disney’s new streaming service launched Tuesday with some technical errors that prevented some users from connecting with the service. But that didn’t stop customers from flooding the sign-up page.

At $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year, Disney+ is significantly cheaper than competitors such as Netflix, which charges $12.99 for its most popular standard HD plan.

Disney is offering a seven-day free trial, so likely not all of the sign-ups represent customers who will continue to pay for the service. Disney did not immediately respond to a question about whether the 10 million sign-up figure included presales. Verizon is also offering its customers a free year of Disney+, which could further boost its subscriber numbers.

Even with the promotional deals, Disney+ has already achieved huge sign-up numbers while competitors such as Netflix and Hulu have taken years to build their audiences. The company has already signed up more than 10% of the high end of its forecast of 60 million to 90 million subscribers by the end of 2024. Disney+ has yet to roll out to many countries beyond the U.S., Canada and the Netherlands, which were included in Tuesday’s launch. The platform will be available in Australia and New Zealand on Nov. 19. More countries will get Disney+ in the coming months.

For comparison, it took CBS about five years to reach 8 million streaming subscribers combined for CBS All Access and Showtime. CBS said it reached its subscriber goal two years earlier than expected.

Disney-owned Hulu, which has an advertising-based streaming model, claimed more than 28 million subscribers in May. Of those subscribers, 26.8 million are monthly paying customers, while the remaining have promotional accounts. Netflix claimed more than 60 million paid domestic members in its third quarter of 2019 and more than 97 million international paid members.

In short, Disney has made a significant move against its rivals just over a day since launching, even before Disney+ becomes fully available across the globe.―CNBC

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