When Disney+ launches on Tuesday, November 12, an estimated 1.9 million pre-order subscribers will start streaming decades of Disney and Fox content. That's a big number, especially for a brand new streaming platform. However, streaming giant Netflix currently has 60.6 million subscribers in the United States - and more than 150 million worldwide. That means Disney's initial group of customers for the ambitious new service represents just 3% of Netflix's U.S. subscriber base.
As a streaming platform with access to almost all of the content under the massive umbrella of its parent company, Disney+ has been promoting itself as the must-have streaming source for classic Disney films and television series, as well as Star Wars, Marvel, National Geographic, and other major franchises. While Netflix has enjoyed streaming rights to many new Marvel movies, Disney+ will soon become the streaming home of the MCU. Many Disney properties once available on Netflix and other platforms will be consolidated under Disney+ by 2020. As part of their marketing strategy, the media giant has also been pushing The Mandalorian, an original, live-action Star Wars series, as its flagship title.
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Still, the nearly 2 million subscribers already lined up - including 100,000 who signed up this weekend alone - barely put a dent in the Netflix customer case. Ahead of the November 12 launch of Disney+, Business Insider (citing data from business analytics firm Jumpshot), reports that Disney+ has 1.9 million pre-orders, just 3% of Netflix's U.S. customer base. Pre-subscription to Disney+ has naturally grown as the launch date approaches, and most analysts expect those numbers to surge significantly post-launch. However, the Streaming Wars are not a zero-sum game. Business Insider also reports that 34% of the 1.9 million pre-subscribers already have at least one other streaming service, which means many customers aren't choosing between Netflix and Disney+. In the days ahead, millions more Netflix customers could sign up for Disney+ to watch content like Avengers: Endgame.
While the largest spike in sign-ups occurred in the past few days, two other boosts - one in late August and one in late September - can be traced back to the company's most recent subscription incentives. Starting on August 26th, it was announced that this year's D23 attendees would have the opportunity to purchase a 3-year subscription to the site for $141 (as opposed to the standard $210, or $69.99 per year). One month later, Verizon customers who had purchased certain packages were given a free year of Disney+, with those who had already pre-ordered given an additional year ahead of the one they'd paid for.
There is likely room for both Netflix and Disney+ in the streaming market. That being said, Disney's subscriber count at launch isn't small by any means, and the media giant will almost certainly become one of the largest streaming platforms in the world when it launches. The company expects to reach millions more streaming customers as word of mouth spreads. On top of the classic Disney and Fox content available on Disney+ at launch, Disney is also investing in a significant amount of original content for streaming customers. New content like The Mandalorian and new Marvel TV shows could lure many new customers on board in the months to come. Even though Disney+ has a steep hill to climb to rival Netflix's subscriber count, the entertainment conglomerate is well placed for the challenge.
Source: Business Insider