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Streaming Analyst Predicts Disney+ Subs to Eclipse Netflix by 2026

Jeff Kotuby

A streaming analyst is predicting big things for Disney+ — at least in one country. Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research Ltd., posted a report forecasting the number of subscribers to each major streaming platform in 2026. According to the data, Disney+ will surpass Netflix in terms of total subscribers — 294 million to 286 million. However, Disney+ will only have more subs than Netflix in a single country: India. Of Disney+’s current nearly 95 million subscribers, 30% are in India.

This theorized shift in subscribers comes as Disney is set to roll out ‘Disney+ Hotstar’, its Indian-focused streaming platform, in more countries. “Disney+ Hotstar will roll out to 13 Asian countries by 2026,” Murray said. “These countries will supply 108 million (37 percent) of the global Disney+ subscriber total, but only $2.62 billion (13 percent) of the platform’s revenues by 2026. Hotstar subscribers pay less than a third of the monthly subscription fee of their U.S. counterpart.” Murray says global revenues for Disney+ will be at $20.76 billion by 20206, though that will be about half of Netflix’s predicted $39.52 billion total.

Currently, Disney+ Hotstar is only available in India, though its success can be attributed to its exclusive deal with Indian Premier League cricket matches. India and the United States alone account for about half of Disney+ Hotstar’s total subscriber count.

Disney+’s overall growth is powered by a combination of stellar original series like The Mandalorian and WandaVision along with the release of several full-length films direct to the platform, such as Mulan, Soul, and the upcoming Raya and the Last Dragon. According to Disney’s Q1 earnings call, there’s a chance we could even see Black Widow appear on the platform as well. Disney+ will also house multiple Marvel-themed properties, like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, and more. Of course, being the exclusive home of the Frozen movies, as well as all the other Disney classics, can’t hurt its odds.

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