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Disney overtakes Netflix as world’s largest streaming platform

Disney’s streaming services—Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+—have overtaken Netflix in the number of viewers as the Mouse House’s five-year push into the digital streaming space finally comes to fruition.

Disney now boasts 221 million streaming customers across all of its platforms—beating the 220.7 million subscribers Netflix announced in July—after Disney+ added 14.4 million customers in the past quarter ended July 2. Disney’s flagship streaming site also beat analyst consensus polled by FactSet, which predicted it would add 10 million customers in the quarter.

The company added 14.4 million Disney+ subscribers, beating analyst expectations of 10 million due to the pull of originals such as Obi-Wan Kenobi and hotly anticipated feature films including Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness. Disney+ (excluding the Asian market-oriented Disney+ Hotstar) was at a total of 93.6 million subscribers, while Disney+ Hotstar was at 58.4 million for a total Disney+ base of 152.1 million.

Sports streamer ESPN+ saw the largest proportional year-over-year growth of 53% from 39.1 million in Q3 2021 to 42.2 million today. Hulu meanwhile increased by 8% in the same period to 46.2 million.

ARPU decreases in the US and Canada along with increasing content production costs has seen Disney announce steep price increases for Disney+ and Hulu in those markets.

Paolo Pescatore, analyst at PP Foresight, called it a

“pivotal moment in the streaming wars”

saying Disney had more room to grow than arch-rival Netflix. Netflix lost nearly one million accounts in the most recent quarter, putting its subscriber total at 220.67 million.

“[The results] firmly underline my belief that Disney is at a different phase of growth to Netflix,”

said Mr Pescatore.

“There are still millions of users to acquire as it continues to expand into new markets and rolls out new blockbuster shows.”


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