Why Disney+ only needed 16 months to crack 100 million subscribers

A collage of Disney characters behind a Disney logo.

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson / Disney)

In the Walt Disney Company’s latest shareholder call, we expected to hear good news about its popular Disney+ service—especially as a highlight for a company otherwise besieged by the realities of a pandemic. Sure enough, the news was incredibly good for the company’s upstart streaming service, with CEO Bob Chapek confirming a tidy threshold: over 100 million subscribers.

Thanks to Disney’s recent fiscal announcements, the number isn’t entirely surprising, considering we saw counts of 86.8 million this past December and 95 million in February. But in two other respects, the number is gargantuan. First, Disney originally projected a four-year plan to get to 90 million subscribers, and that estimate has clearly been blown past.

Second, the other megaton streamer in the conversation, Netflix, needed much longer to cross that alluring 100 million mark: a whopping 10 years. Disney+ only needed 16 months.

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