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Disney+ Wallops Expectations: 11.8 Million New Subscribers for 129.8 Million Total

Aubrey Chorpenning

In Q1 2022, Disney+ added 11.8 million new subscribers, reaching 129.8 million subscribers in total. The company reached 42.9 million domestic subscribers - up 18% from last year at this time. CEO Bob Chapek tells CNBC he’s reaffirming Disney’s 230-260M guidance for Disney+ by 2024.

These numbers do have a bit of an asterisk, however. Any subscriber to Hulu Live TV automatically gets Disney+ and ESPN+ for free, which contributed 2 million subscribers to Disney+ on the quarter.

Since 2022 began, Disney’s streaming service is already off to a great start.

To kick off the new year, the streaming service recently met a major milestone in lifetime global consumer spending through the app stores. Disney+ became a part of the $2 Billion Dollar Club, joining a select few other streaming services.

Data collected in 2021 and released in early 2022 shows that Disney+ has one of the lowest churn rates among streaming services. So, it looks like those who subscribe tend to stick around. The data shows that just 3.7% of Disney+ subscribers leave when their subscriptions are up.

Disney+ has been dominating when it comes to both children's content and movies. So far, because Disney+’s library has featured shows and movies geared toward families and children, it’s know for being a streaming service for families. While this does seem to work for the streaming service, their target audience has been somewhat narrow because of their current content. Many folks simply don’t choose to subscribe to Disney+ because they have no desire to watch children’s programming.

To reach a wider audience, “Free Guy” arrives on Disney+ this month. While this might sound like a wise move to bring in older viewers, the company may run into a problem. Because most of their content is geared toward kids, once subscribers stream “Free Guy,” they may struggle to find anything else that interests them. A similar situation occurred with “Hamilton” back in 2020.

At this point, Disney+ could benefit from more original content. So far, many of Disney+’s successful titles have come from already existing universes, specifically Star Wars and Marvel.

So, what does the future hold for Disney+? Moving forward, Disney+ has big plans for the current year and beyond. The service will expand to 42 countries and 11 new territories this summer, which has the potential to make subscriber counts soar.

Also in early 2022, the news broke that Disney is working on a “Percy Jackson” TV series. No release date has been announced, but the series has the opportunity to impact Disney+ for better or worse.

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