During Disney Investor Day 2020, The Walt Disney Company announced that their subscriber numbers to that point were at 86.8 million subscribers and now they've made another major leap. During their Q1 Earnings Call, Disney announced today that their paid subscriber count has risen to 94.9 million as of January 2, 2021, a jump of eight million additional subscribers in just under a month, a smaller margin than the previous leap in subscribers which jumped from 73.7 million in October to December's 86.8 million. The company also confirmed that moving forward they'll likely no longer make subscriber updates each quarter but instead wait for specific milestones.
"We believe the strategic actions we're taking to transform our Company will fuel our growth and enhance shareholder value, as demonstrated by the incredible strides we've made in our DTC business, reaching more than 146 million total paid subscriptions across our streaming services at the end of the quarter," said Bob Chapek, Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. We're confident that, with our robust pipeline of exceptional, high-quality content and the upcoming launch of our new Starbranded international general entertainment offering, we are well-positioned to achieve even greater success going forward."
Disney+ wasn't the only streaming service from the company that saw growth. ESPN+ is now sitting at 12.1 million subscribers over 6.6 million compared to December of 2019 with Hulu jumping from 30.4 million to 39.4 million in the same time frame.
In their investor release, the company wrote: "The improvement at Disney+ was driven by an increase in subscribers, partially offset by higher programming and production cost amortization and increased marketing and technology costs. The increases in subscribers and costs reflected the ongoing expansion of Disney+ including launching in additional markets. The current quarter included three months of Disney+ operations whereas the prior year quarter included two months."
One thing that's worth noting is how quickly Disney+ is approaching the 100 million paid subscribers. The service is just over a year old and is quickly gaining on Netflix, who announced back in January to have crossed over 203 million subscribers worldwide. Disney previously projected anywhere from 230 million to 260 million subscribers for Disney+ by 2024. Should the growth of both services continue at their current paces we might see them going back and forth as the leading streamers in just a few years time.
If you haven't signed up for Disney+ yet, you can try it out here.
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