Disney+ will apparently catch up to Netflix's subscriber numbers in 2022 if current projections hold true. A new report from eMarketer released on Tuesday projects that Disney will hold an equal market share of the streaming entertainment industry as Netflix in the next few years. Each streaming service is also projected to earn more than $12 billion in subscription streaming revenue, by that time; however, Netflix is projected to still hold the lead with $12.95B, while Disney+ will pull in $12.36B, if you incorporate revenue from the Hulu and ESPN+ parts of the Disney+ bundle.
Taking away the bundle earnings, Disney+ will still be behind Netflix - but also a big success, in terms of growth. The fact that Disney+ will also have equal market share to Netflix is proof that the service is penetrating the pop-culture zeitgeist in a big way.
Disney+ started off strong last fall, but admittedly felt like it lagged in terms of buzz during 2020, as other services like HBO Max, Quibi, and Peacock made hi-profile debuts, while Amazon Prime Video kept making steady strides forward, with series like The Marvelous Ms. Maisel and The Boys bringing both acclaim and pop-culture buzz. However, Disney+ has come roaring back in the second half of the year, dropping big events like Hamilton and of course The Mandalorian season 2, which pretty much owns TV as it heads into its highly-anticipated season finale, this week. The subscription numbers prove it: Disney+ added 13.1 million new subs between October 3rd and December 10th; The Mandalorian season 2 premiered just before Halloween.
As The Mandalorian ends its sophomore season, Disney has unveiled a bold new push into Disney+ programming. The Marvel and Star Wars brands are each getting a big bundle of new content, with Disney also producing many new original series and animated projects for the streaming service. The Marvel Disney+ series that were delayed form airing this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, are now set to keep subscribers consistently signed in through a good portion of 2021, with WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Loki all continuing big storylines from the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies.
Meanwhile, Netflix may be beginning to slide in terms of big mainstream-hit series - as well as losing big syndicated series like The Office. That said, Netflix is still the go-to name in streaming, and the service has been doing well transitioning into both big event filmmaking, as well as awards season prestige hits (Trial of the Chicago 7, The Midnight Sky, Da 5 Bloods). With the way things are going in the world, Netflix staking its claim as the official successor to theaters could be a timely move.