This week marked the continued evolution in the cord-cutting world as Disney launched its Disney+ streaming service to much fanfare and 10 million new subscribers, sending the company’s stock soaring.
For roughly the cost of a cup of coffee from a high-end barista, you can get access to most of Disney’s legacy movies and television shows. The service also includes new shows released episodically, rather than all at once (like most of Netflix’s content).
These titles include all of the Star Wars movies, most of Marvel’s massive collection of super-hero movies, some television shows as well as National Geographic documentaries and shows.
In its first week, Disney boasted having 10 million subscribers — most of which coming on the free seven-day preview. However, because of its decision to release shows like the new Star Wars-themed series “The Mandalorian,” episodically rather than all at once, many of those trial accounts will most likely become full-paying customers.
On the day of its launch, Walt Disney Co. (DIS) jumped 7.3% to close at $148.72 Monday — an all-time high for the stock dating back to 1972. On Friday, the stock had cooled a bit to $144.98 by around 1:50 on the East Coast.
To put the numbers in perspective, Disney+ already has more subscribers than CBS All Access/Showtime, ESPN+ (which is also owned by Disney), HBO Now and sports streamer DAZN.
Hulu (which is at least packaged together with Disney+ and ESPN+ for an additional fee) has 28.5 million subscribers and it’s been out since 2007.
The big dog in the streaming war — Netflix — reports 60.6 million subscribers in the United States, and 158 million globally.
But the standout here is that Disney+ has brought on more subscribers in five days than a majority of streaming services have in their years of being in the marketplace. And it is targeting between 60 million and 90 million by 2024.
And it’s not crazy to think that Mickey and company will get there.
Disney+ has one thing that other streamers struggle with when they launch: content.
Tossing in the legacy library, Star Wars and Marvel titles, along with upcoming original spinoffs from those popular universes, the company can draw in a crowd from each massive fan base.
In all, it appears to be a solid win-win for consumers paying a cheaper price for the extensive Disney catalog than they would with Netflix or Hulu.
The only hiccup in the service will be ensuring Disney+ has enough processing bandwidth to handle the continued expansion of content and users.
All other streaming services should be put on notice. There is a new player in the game, and they’re likely going to start impacting bottom lines very soon.
Editor’s note: Did you sign up for Disney+? Why or why not? Are you considering adding Disney stock to your portfolio since the new streaming network is likely to grow into the new Netflix? Share your thoughts below.