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Forecast: Disney Plus Earns 20 Million Subscribers by Year’s End

Fern Siegel

Given its successful launch and strong subscription response, Credit Suisse predicts Disney+ will have an impressive 20 million subscribers by the end of 2019.

The streamer launched November 12, boosted by the “Star Wars” franchise “The Mandalorian.” Parrot Analytics found the series had 39.9 million demand expressions, in third place among all original digital TV shows. By day two, Disney+ reported 10 million sign-ups.

Another plus driving numbers — giving a free year of Disney+ to Verizon customers.

So stellar are the initial returns, Credit Suisse analysts assigned Disney’s stock an outperform rating. They also upped the 12-month target price from $150 in September to $163, reports CNBC.

Debuting the streamer in Europe on March 31, 2020, is also expected to jump-start subscriptions. The same is expected next October, when the service launches in Latin America.

“As with our prior increase, we assume the higher Disney+ subscribers and revenue is offset by management spending more aggressively behind the successful launch,” the analysts said.

Disney+ is $6.99/month. It can also be bundled with ESPN+ and ad-supported Hulu, both Disney properties, for $12.99/month.

Next year, streamers HBO Max and NBCU’s Peacock launch, adding rivals to a competitive field. AppleTV+ also launched in November, but its inventory is far smaller than Disney+.

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