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Disney Plus Projected to Hit 194 Million Subscribers by 2025, But Still Behind Netflix

Stephanie Sengwe

Since launching last November, Disney+ has been become a streaming powerhouse, competing with the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video even though it’s barely a year old. Well, according to Digital TV Research analyst Simon Murray, the service’s upward trajectory will remain on the up and up for at least the next five years.

According to the report, Murray and the team at Digital TV Research believe Disney+ will reach 194 million subscribers by 2025. That would place them near Netflix’s current worldwide subscriber base.

The number is up from an earlier projection he made in September, where he believed the streamer would be at 172 million, but it’s down from an even earlier estimate of 202 million.

“Much of Disney+โ€™s initial growth came from the U.S., mainly due to the attractive bundle of Disney+ with ESPN+ and Hulu. More recently, Indiaโ€™s Disney+ Hotstar subs count has rocketed due to its coverage of IPL cricket. The U.S. and India will account for nearly half of Disney+โ€™ subscriber base by 2025,” Murray stated.

While the service is expected to do exceptionally well, Murray explained why he thinks it won’t be able to reach the 202 million mark, stating, “Apart from India, with cricket driving nearly 10 million more subs for Hotstar in the quarter to September, there seems to be a rapid slowdown in subscriber growth in countries after an impressive surge at launch. Disney is very good at pre-selling and launch promotions, but subscriber growth seems to slow after this initial period.”

Digital TV Reseasrch also revealed that they expect five streaming services to garner a combined 678 million subscribers by 2025. Disney+ is projected to add 112 million subscribers between 2020 and 2025 to take its total to 194 million, while Netflix is expected to add 73 million subscribers, bringing it to 274 million in 2025.

Amazon will reach 167 million subs in 2025, HBO Max will get to 28.5 million, and Apple TV+ will hit 13.4 million, according to the report.

Just last week, Disney+ reported that they reached 73.7 million subscribers at the end of September. Almost 25% of their subscribers now come from their Disney+ Hotstar property in India.

This is a 16.2 million climb from last quarter, when they reported they reached 57.5 million subscribers at the end of the third quarter in June 2020, but were at 60.5 million subscribers as of August 3rd.