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Analysts Worry Disney Plus’ Focus on Kids Could Slow Future Growth

Fern Siegel

Disney+ had an amazing debut, grabbing 10 million subscribers in its first 24 hours, thanks to the “Star Wars” spinoff “The Mandalorian.” But since November, Wall Street analysts are concerned its early numbers may be waning, reports the New York Post.

One issue is the focus on kids, which comprise the majority of streaming shows. That means less fare for adults. It’s also why Bernstein analyst Todd Juenger noted in a recent company research report: “Disney+ has probably already achieved its peak absolute net adds in the first quarter of its existence.”

Juenger’s worries Disney+ won’t record another year where it attracts as many subscribers. He expects Disney+ to end 2020 with 40 million subscribers versus the 28 million it gained at the end of 2019. It’s also prepping for a European launch.

Conversely, rival Netflix has 167 million subscribers worldwide, with 61 million in the U.S.
LightShed Partners analyst Richard Greenfield believes Disney+ needs to spend more on exclusive content to both retain and draw a new audience. “If you haven’t signed up now, what’s the catalyst?” Greenfield shared with the NYP. “The single biggest question is, can they grow that U.S. subscriber number from here? Or, have they largely maxed out in the U.S. in weeks from launch?”

Disney+ will release season 2 of “The Mandalorian” in October. A new Marvel adventure, “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” begins in August. A 10-episode series based on “The Mighty Ducks” movie, with Emilio Estevez and Lauren Graham premieres later this year.

“Loki” is being slated for a 2021 release, while the “Rogue One” prequel starring Diego Luna starts shooting this year.

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