November 11, 2021
While the fourth-quarter (ended Oct. 2) subscriber growth slowdown at Disney+ made headlines, the 2-year-old SVOD service remains the top-growing platform — ahead of competitors HBO Max, NBCUniversal’s Peacock, Paramount+, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and Netflix.
New data from JustWatch, which tracks more than 20 million users per month across 54 countries, found that Disney+ was No. 1 in subscriber growth across the majority of its 64 operating markets. The platform ended the quarter with 118.1 million subs, up 60% from the previous-year period, but still trailing SVOD leader Netflix’s 214 million subs across 190 countries.
Indeed, Disney’s addition of 4.4 million subs in the most-recent fiscal period rivaled Netflix. But the streamer’s Indian asset, Hotstar, lost 2.4 million subs, largely due to the process of initiating subscriber renewals and the timing of the Indian Premier League cricket season. India accounts for 37% of Disney+ total subscribers.
With Disney+ celebrating its two-year anniversary Nov. 12 in a companywide media event, CEO Bob Chapek is hardly worrying about the Q4 slowdown, reiterating the company is not focused on quarter-by-quarter subscriber results.
Instead, Chapek reminded that the service is now available throughout Japan and launching tomorrow in South Korea and Taiwan, with Hong Kong bowing on Nov. 16. In 2022, Disney+ will expand across more than 50 additional countries, including in Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and South Africa.
“Our goal is to more than double the number of countries we are currently in to over 160 by fiscal-year ’23,” Chapek said. “We are enormously proud of all that we’ve accomplished with the service in just the first 2 years. It has exceeded our wildest expectations, and we are so excited for what’s to come.”