Speed Reads

streaming wars

Disney+ beats subscriber expectations amid Netflix woes

Netflix just had a rough quarter, but those streaming troubles weren't felt by Disney.

Disney said Wednesday it added 7.9 million subscribers to Disney+ last quarter, beating Wall Street expectations that they'd add closer to five million subscribers, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Disney CEO Bob Chapek said the numbers "once again proved that we are in a league of our own."

The performance was especially notable coming a few weeks after Netflix shockingly lost 200,000 subscribers, its first subscriber loss in a decade. It was a big miss for the streamer, which projected it would gain 2.5 million subscribers. 

A similar miss by Disney+ would have furthered concerns about an overall crisis in the streaming marketplace. Instead, Disney+ grew to 137.7 million subscribers. This still puts it below Netflix, which has about 222 million subscribers. But Disney has grown subscriptions 33 percent in the past year, and one analyst has projected Disney+ will surpass Netflix by 2025. The company forecasts it will have between 230 million and 260 million subscribers by 2024. 

Netflix cited a variety of factors for its weak quarter, not the least of which was competition from streaming services like Disney+. It plans to implement a number of major changes in response, including introducing a cheaper ad-supported tier and cracking down on password sharing. Disney+, too, is introducing an ad-supported tier, which Chapek says will launch this year.