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Research: Netflix to Have 275 Millions Subs by 2026, Surpassed by Disney+ in 2027

Lauren Forristal

New projections from Digital TV Research estimate that in 2026, Netflix will continue to be the top largest streaming service in the world with 275 million subscribers. Since Disney+ had a slow start, only getting 118.1 million subscribers in the last quarter, a tiny growth spurt of 2.1 million subs, it’s predicted that they will catch up and surpass Netflix around 2027.

However, this revision doesn’t change the fact that Disney+ will also be a big winner in the streaming wars, dominating with a total of 271 million subs in 2026. This is mainly due to the Hotstar brand and its estimated 102 million subs (38%) in 13 countries across Asia.

Also, this most recent report estimates that by 2026, five major platforms in the U.S. will control 53% of the world’s 1.7 billion SVOD subscriptions, making the total 910 million - an increase of 585 million since 2021. The original Digital TV research report that The Streamable covered last month said that it was possible there would be a 33% jump in SVOD subscriptions from 338 million at the end of 2021 to 450 million in 2026. From 2021 to 2026, the percentage of households subscribed to one or multiple SVOD platforms will supposedly spike from 82% (99 million) to 87% (106 million).

The original report also estimated that Disney+ would surpass Netflix in 2025. However, due to the quarter results ending on September 30, the researchers decided to revise their predictions. Principal analyst at Digital TV Research, Simon Murray, said, “Our previous forecasts based on June 2021 results estimated that Disney+ would overtake Netflix in 2025. Based on the September 2021 results, we now expect that this will happen in 2027.”

According to research from Parrot Analytics, Netflix is in the lead for U.S. demand for series content with originals making up 83% of its catalog. Disney has a slight leg up with its original content library (89%).

The other remaining streaming services still in the U.S. top 5 is Amazon Prime Video with a prediction of 245.9 million by 2026, Apple TV+ with 36.1 million, and HBO Max will have a total of 83 million subscribers. Like Disney+, HBO Max is also expected to launch in Asia in 2023, as well as in Eastern Europe in 2022. The other contenders are expected to have a collective total of 791.9. million subs.

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