Denying pleasure to some analysts who said Disney would take one year to cross 10 million subscribers, the newcomer in live streaming arena has gained more than 10 million sign-ups on its first day of launch, far exceeding expectations. It's expected to be a $70 billion business by 2021.
Disney's sales pitch showcasing Marvel and Star Wars movies, classic animations and a host of new titles seems to have tilted the balance in its favour, on the opening day Tuesday, Nov. 13. However, Disney didn't give a breakup of the subscriptions or whether they're free or paid monthly or yearly.
So far, Disney has invested billions in its new streaming service, that is available in the US for $6.99 a month or $69 a year after a 7-day free trial. However, it has offered free one-year subscription to customers from Verizon wireless and home-internet plan holders.
According to a survey by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, 47% of live streaming video viewers worldwide are streaming more live video compared to the scene a year ago. Conviva's 2018 State of the Streaming TV Industry report said hours of live video content consumption rose 65% from 2017 to 2018, accounting for the "largest global surges in viewership throughout 2018."
Interestingly, Nielsen and MoffettNathanson report said 86 of the top 100 most-watched live telecasts in the United States in 2017 were sporting events. In 2019, live streaming for Super Bowl LIII reached almost 560 million viewers. In the US, adults spend nearly 6 hours per day watching video, according to a latest Nielsen report.
Live streaming is expected to be a $70.5 billion industry by 2021 and many tech majors are jumping into the field. Apple is the next player to watch out. With is rich content, Disney is likely to give a touch competition to Netflix, which has remained the sole leader in streaming business with 158 million subscribers since its launch in 2007.
Disney Plus plans to hit its long term subscription targets for 2024 of 60 to 90 million subscribers, however, next week figures will reveal how many of its subscribers who availed one-week free trial will remain in the field for a longer term subscription.