Disney+ reaches milestone of 100 million subscribers in unprecedented 16 months

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Angelica Tejada

The Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Chapek announced that after launching just 16 months ago, Disney+ reached more than 100 million subscribers on March 9.

“The enormous success of Disney+ — which has now surpassed 100 million subscribers — has inspired us to be even more ambitious, and to significantly increase our investment in the development of high-quality content,” Chapek said in a statement.

This is a big milestone for Disney, and in comparison to the other streaming services, it has reached this mark significantly faster.

“The other megaton streamer in the conversation, Netflix, needed much longer to cross that alluring 100 million mark: a whopping 10 years. Disney+ only needed 16 months,” Arstechnica reported.

Disney launched its streaming service on Nov. 12, 2019, in the United States, and while it did attract a good amount of subscribers, this milestone happened sooner than Disney anticipated.

“Disney originally projected a four-year plan to get to 90 million subscribers, and that estimate has clearly been blown past,” according to Arstechnica.

In the streaming service’s luck, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to many individuals craving some form of escapism while being stuck at home.

Disney+ is full of content for subscribers to shuffle through – everything from childhood throwbacks to brand new additions to beloved franchises like Marvel and Star Wars.

Its number of released original TV series, like WandaVision and The Mandalorian, have also attracted many viewers.

In particular, the streaming service’s tactic of releasing new episodes weekly have given viewers more anticipation ahead of each release, unlike the effect of binge-watching a whole season like on Netflix.

Another attractive quality about Disney+ is its content libraries, which consist of shows, movies and extras from these five categories: Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar and National Geographic.

Subscribers of all ages can watch their favorite movies and TV shows, which creates a more inviting atmosphere for families.

“Focusing on franchises and family entertainment instead of serving up another all-you-can-eat buffet of content from every genre in the universe turned out to be a brilliant move,” according to Vulture.

Disney’s success with its streaming service does not end here, as they have a lot of new content that’s expected to release in the future.

“In fact, we set a target of 100+ new titles per year, and this includes Disney Animation, Disney Live Action, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic,” Chapek said in a statement. “Our direct-to-consumer business is the Company’s top priority, and our robust pipeline of content will continue to fuel its growth.”

They’ve also benefited from releasing movies meant for theaters like Hamilton and Pixar’s Soul, both of which garnered massive popularity in 2020.

Maintaining this success for Disney may come with a few bumps, however, the company is set to accomplish even bigger milestones in the future.

“The company expects Disney+ will have 230 million to 260 million subscribers by 2024,” CNBC reported.