Speed Reads

to infinity and beyond

Disney+ already has almost a third as many subscribers as Netflix

Disney+ just months after its launch has reached a milestone analysts once thought would take years.

Disney's streaming service now has 50 million paid subscribers worldwide, the company has announced. This, The Hollywood Reporter notes, means Disney+ already has almost one-third of Netflix's 167 million subscribers.

Before Disney+ debuted, The New York Times reports, analysts thought reaching 50 million subscribers would take until 2022. Disney itself had the goal of amassing between 60 million and 90 million subscribers by 2024, but it "may hit that target four years early," Variety writes.

Disney+ launched in November in the U.S. with a catalog that included originals like the high-profile Star Wars show The Mandalorian, although its selection of original content has been fairly light since that show wrapped its first season. The Times notes analysts believe families being stuck at home in coronavirus quarantine desperate for things to watch has helped Disney maintain and grow its subscriber base, even as other parts of its business like theme parks have suffered. Since its U.S. launch, Disney+ has also recently become available in other countries like the U.K.

In recent weeks, Disney has been among the studios breaking with its protocol for releasing movies on streaming, debuting Frozen II on Disney+ months early, as well as making Pixar's Onward available for streaming less than a month after it was in theaters. Disney also recently announced that its upcoming movie Artemis Fowl will skip theaters, which remain closed in the United States, and instead debut on Disney+, a step chair Bob Iger has teased may be taken with "a few more" films.

As far as the original Disney+ shows go, a second season of The Mandalorian is expected later this year, and Marvel series like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier are coming as well, though the coronavirus pandemic may or may not cause them to face a delay.