Latest update from Disney+ should set alarm bells ringing for Netflix and Prime Video

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Disney Plus has announced its latest user numbers – which make great reading for the House of Mouse, but might leave rivals Netflix and Prime Video looking over its shoulders. As Disney Plus approaches the second anniversary of its UK and Ireland launch, the service has hit hit almost 130million subscribers. In the final quarter of 2021 Disney Plus gained a whopping 11.8million new subscribers worldwide compared to the previous three month period.

While Netflix and Prime Video are the top two streaming services in the world, Disney Plus is growing at an impressive rate which is helping it catch up fast.

As a comparison, in the final quarter of 2021 Netflix saw its user numbers grow by 8.3million – which is almost 3.5million less than Disney Plus.

And in the first quarter of 2022 Netflix is only expected to add 2.5million new subscribers, which is around half (5.9million) of what analysts had predicted.

Netflix is the world’s most popular streaming service, with around 222million subscribers. But the media giant recently said growth had been hampered by the increased competition it is now facing.

Whereas Disney Plus, which first launched in November 2019, is growing at an impressive rate.

Disney had originally hoped to hit between 60million and 90million subscribers four years after first launching.

It’s already well eclipsed that goal after just over two years, and now Disney is hoping to reach between 230million and 240million Disney Plus subscribers by the end of the fiscal 2024.

Whether Disney Plus manages to get right behind Netflix and Prime Video’s user numbers, or overtake them, if it hits that target by then depends on the growth of the current top two streaming services.

In its latest financial report, Disney CEO Bob Chapek said: “This marks the final year of The Walt Disney Company’s first century, and performance like this coupled with our unmatched collection of assets and platforms, creative capabilities, and unique place in the culture give me great confidence we will continue to define entertainment for the next 100 years.”

As it looks to lure in more subscribers Disney Plus has plenty of great content in the pipelines.

Upcoming Star Wars series Obi-Wan Kenobi, which will see Ewan McGregor reprise his role as the legendary Jedi Master, launches in a few months time on May 25.

While it’s also been announced that cult animated comedy Futurama – which was created by The Simpsons creator Matt Groening – will be making yet another comeback, this time spearheaded by the Disney-owned Hulu service.

The new series of Futurama will launch on Hulu (which mainly operates just in the States) in 2023, and will be available in other regions via Disney Plus’s Star catalogue.

Elsewhere, in just a few weeks time Steven Spielberg’s Oscar nominated West Side Story remake will also be hitting Disney Plus.

The rebooted musical will launch on Disney Plus on March 2.


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