Citing “extraordinary demand”, Disney announced today (one day after launch) that Disney+ has surpassed 10 million subscribers right out of the gate. This is big news for Disney, of course, especially considering many analysts had pegged Disney+ to reach 8 million subscribers by the end of the year. So it sure looks like Disney+ is out to a solid start.
Over 10 million subscribers after one day is impressive. There’s no getting around that. However, it’s worth noting that there is room for this number to change quite a bit in either direction. Right now Disney+ is counting everyone that’s subscribing to the service — whether they’re paying now, getting it for free, or have already paid for multiple years of service up front.
For those who have already paid for multiple years, they’ll probably keep their subscription whether or not they use it every day. But it’s also possible they cancel that subscription whenever they want, too. And for those who are getting the service for free through Verizon’s partnership, well, it stands to reason they’ll keep that subscription for the 12 months, too.
But Disney+ comes with a 7-day free trial, after which customers will start getting billed — either $6.99 per month or the one-time annual charge of $69.99. The real trick for Disney+ will be to see how many of those customers are actually retained once they are presented with the fact they’ll actually need to pay for the service.
That’s what I’m most curious about. Disney+ is obviously off to a good start, which is great, and hopefully that means we’ll see Disney inject even more money and talent into the service from here on out. Will the draw of original content like The Mandalorian right now, and upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) series like WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier keep people coming back? Or will the company be relying on its hefty back catalog to keep people forking money over on a regular (or semi-regular) basis?
What about you? If you’ve subscribed to Disney+ already, do you plan on keeping that subscription active for the foreseeable future?
Oh, and I really wish we could get a feel for how Apple TV+ is doing. The fact that Apple sold millions of products that could get customers 12 months of free service should go a long way to boost those initial subscriber numbers. Maybe we’ll find out in a couple months during Apple’s next quarterly earnings call.