BURBANK, Calif.—Disney+ has been a force of nature since it arrived one year ago, having amassed 86.8 million subscribers as of Dec. 2, according to the latest numbers from The Walt Disney Company. Upon its release in November 2019, Disney’s stated highest expectations was that Disney+ would reach 90 million subscribers by 2024.
The updated figures came from Disney’s 2020 Investor Day, which in addition to unveiling subscriber numbers for Disney+ and its other streaming platforms (Hulu and ESPN+), the company announced future strategies based around its streaming services, which are becoming a central figure in the company’s strategy.
In addition to Disney+’s 86.8 million subscribers, Disney reported that Hulu now has 38.8 million subscribers and ESPN+ has 11.5 million subscribers. This brings the total number of people subscribing to Disney-owned streaming services to 137 million. As Disney plans to boost its content output on streaming services, it now expects that by 2024 its streaming services will have 300-350 million total subscribers.
Beyond the numbers, Disney announced that it will be raising the price of Disney+ by $1 come March 26, 2021. At that point, the service will cost $7.99 per month, or $79.99 per year. The Disney Bundle, which packages Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+, will be $13.99 per month.
Disney also announced a new agreement with Comcast that will bring Disney+ and ESPN+ to Comcast X1 set-top boxes and Flex platforms in the first quarter of 2021. Hulu customers will also now be able to subscribe to ESPN+ within the Hulu user interface and access ESPN+ content there as of early 2021, the company added.
In addition, Disney announced a new international general entertainment content brand, Star. Star will be included as part of Disney+ in some international markets and offered as a separate streaming service in Latin America, known as Star+. Star will host content from Disney Television Studios, FX, 20th Century Studios, 20th Television, as well as local programming where available.
As part of its strategy to continue to grow the Disney+ brand, Disney announced a slew of news about upcoming content. The company announced that it will offer 10 new “Star Wars,” 10 new Marvel and 15 Disney live action, Disney animation and Pixar series to the streamer. There will also be 15 live action, Disney animation and Pixar movies released on the platform as well.
Another strategy that was revealed during the Investor Day was what Disney would do with its 2021 slate of films following the news that Warner Bros. plans to release its 2021 films on HBO Max the same day as theatrical at no additional cost to subscribers. Disney has not taken such a bold step. While some titles were moved exclusively to streaming (live-action “Pinocchio” and “Peter Pan and Wendy” movies) the studio’s upcoming animated movie “Raya and the Last Dragon” will be released the same day on Disney+ as in theaters, but for a $30 premium price on top of monthly subscription fees; this is the same strategy Disney took with “Mulan” over the summer. Other major Disney movies, like "Black Widow," are still scheduled to play exclusively in theaters.
For more information and news from Disney’s 2020 Investor Day, visit The Walt Disney Company website.
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