November 16, 2020
‘The Mandalorian” has met its match: Cricket. Both entertainment choices in the U.S. and India look to drive Disney+ global subscriber growth over the next five years.
Based on September 2020 results, Digital TV Research expects five global over-the-top video platforms to have 678 million paying subscribers by 2025. Disney+ will add 112 million subs between 2020 and 2025 to take its total to 194 million — about what had through Sept. 30. Netflix will increase by 73 million subs — underscoring strong growth even for the SVOD pioneer.
Driving Disney+ sub growth will be ongoing service launches in the U.S. and India — the latter accounting for 25% of the service’s subscribers through Sept. 30. Why? The sport of professional cricket played in India.
When Disney acquired 21st Century Fox’s assets, it assumed control of Hotstar, India’s top OTT video platform. Over the summer Disney quietly launched Disney+ Hotstar in the region, in addition to further Disney+ expansion in Europe.
Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research, said initial sub growth at Disney+ came from the U.S., mainly due to the discounted price bundle of Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu, and 12-month access for Verizon customers. More recently, India’s Disney+ Hotstar subs count has rocketed due to its coverage of IPL cricket.
“The U.S. and India will account for nearly half of Disney+’ subscriber base by 2025,” Murray said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Netflix’s revenue will reach $37 billion by 2025 — up by $17 billion on its 2019 total. Disney+ will generate $13 billion by 2025 — impressive since it only started service a year ago. However, this is a lot lower than Netflix due to lower ARPUs charged in developing markets.