Very quickly, Disney has become perhaps the dominant force in the video streaming world. Just about six months after the company announced it had over 100 million streaming video subscribers, Disney has revealed it has almost that many on Disney+ alone. In today’s earnings report covering the last quarter of 2020, Disney announced that it now has 94.9 million Disney+ subscribers, 39.4 million Hulu subscribers and 12.1 million ESPN+ subscribers. Overall, Disney is up to 146 million streaming video subscribers all told, with Disney+ a force to be reckoned with.
Since Disney+ just launched in December of 2019, comparing year-over-year subscriber numbers isn’t super helpful, but the fact that it picked up almost 100 million users in the span of a year is extremely impressive. However, the average monthly revenue per subscriber dropped significantly, from $5.56 a year ago to only $4.04 — that’s in large part to Disney+ Hotstar, the name of the service in India and Indonesia. In those countries, the monthly charge for Disney+ is significantly lower than elsewhere. We wager Disney is OK with that tradeoff, though.
While Disney+ is by far the company’s biggest streaming service, Hulu and ESPN+ were highlights as well. The 12.1 million ESPN+ subscribers represents 83 percent year-over-year growth. And Hulu grew 30 percent year-over-year to 39.4 million subscribers, as well. Hulu’s live TV product represents only 4 million of those users, though — but that’s still a 25 percent increase over a year ago. Even if live TV subscribers aren’t growing as fast as those for the on-demand service, it’s not exactly dead in the water yet.
Streaming video was a bright spot for Disney in a tough year in which it has taken a hit by closures of business like theme parks and cruises thanks to COVID-19. Theatrical movie offerings were similarly hard-hit, but at least the company has lots of loyal fans staying home binge-watching to help bump up those video subscriber numbers.