Shares in Walt Disney surged on Wednesday (Nov. 13) amid news of 10 million signups for its Disney+ streaming service, according to a report by Reuters.
The company cited “extraordinary customer demand,” and shares were up 3.5 percent. The results put Disney in league with the top streaming services, like Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime. The Disney+ service experienced technical difficulties as demand far exceeded expectations.
While the numbers were in some cases triple what was anticipated, it’s not known how many of those subscribers came to the service without promotions.
Verizon said in October that it was going to give all new and existing Fios, 5G home internet and Verizon unlimited wireless customers a free one-year subscription to the Disney service.
In terms of that promotion alone, Disney expected somewhere between 17 and 19 million new subscribers. Disney wants to reach between 60 and 90 million subscribers around the world by 2024. Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives said that because of the initial demand, Disney could reach that milestone as much as two years earlier.
Netflix, for example, has 60 million subscribers in the U.S., and 158 million subscribers around the globe.
Disney+ costs $7 a month. It has about 500 movies and 7,500 TV episodes, including new programming. There’s a bundle feature available that comes with Hulu and ESPN+, which costs $13. Disney said that moving forward, it was only going to release subscriber numbers during quarterly earnings calls.
Last month, Disney said it won’t allow Netflix to advertise on any of its TV platforms. Disney, which owns ABC and Freeform, said earlier in the year that it would not allow any other streaming services to advertise, but ultimately changed its course and worked out deals with pretty much every service except Netflix.
The company determined it had some type of mutually beneficial relationship with the other companies, but not with Netflix.
Disney said the streaming landscape is changing, “with many more entrants looking to advertise in traditional television and across our portfolio of networks.” The company said it is allowing other streaming services to advertise “to reflect the comprehensive business relationships we have with many of these companies.”
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