During its earnings report covering the fourth quarter of 2020, Disney today announced that it has surpassed 94.9 million subscribers (via CNBC).
When Disney+ launched, Disney set a goal of hitting 60 million to 90 million subscribers by 2024, a milestone that it reached before the end of 2020. Disney has since re-forecasted and now expects to have 230 to 260 million subscribers by 2024.
With that kind of subscriber growth, Disney+ will likely surpass Netflix. Netflix in January said that it had more than 200 million subscribers worldwide.
Disney+ launched at the same time as Apple TV+, but Disney has seen incredibly rapid growth, reaching 10 million subscribers on the first day and 50 million subscribers at the five month mark. In December, Disney+ was at 86.8 million subscribers, so it has gained eight million subscribers in a month.
Apple does not provide Apple TV+ subscriber numbers so there’s no direct comparison to make, but if Apple had Disney+ numbers, Apple executives likely would have mentioned it. Apple TV+ has not been able to compete with Disney+ because of Disney’s established catalog of content along with popular Star Wars and Marvel original shows.
Apple has been ramping up its selection of movies and TV shows, but it will be years before the company has a catalog that can compete with most other streaming services.