Disney Plus Hits 103.6 Million Subscribers, as Rapid Growth Cools

Analysts had pegged Disney Plus coming in around 110 million customers for the first quarter of the year. At its March 9 annual shareholders meeting, the company boasted that Disney Plus had surpassed 100 million subs. The Mouse House's flagship streaming service packed on 8.7 million global customers in the most recent quarter (up from 94.9 million at the start of 2021).
The jets kept firing for Disney Plus, which reached 103.6 million subscribers worldwide as of April 3, the company reported — although the growth was not as torrid as Wall Street hoped.
The continued but slower growth for Disney Plus came amid the service's first price hikes: In the U.S., for example, the SVOD package went up a buck, to $7.99/month, as of March 26.
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Disney Plus, the streaming home for movies from Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and Disney as well as a slate of original series and films, had the wind at its back in 2020 with the global pandemic fueling consumer demand for the service.
During the quarter, the Disney Plus average monthly revenue per paid subscriber continued to drop in the period: That was $3.99 for the quarter ended April 3, down 29% from the year prior (and just a hair off the prior quarter's $4.03). Disney noted that the global numbers include Disney Plus Hotstar, available in India and Indonesia, which carries a significantly lower ARPU than Disney Plus in other markets.
Last December, Disney issued a dramatic upward revision on its forecast for Disney Plus, projecting 230 million to 260 million total paid subscribers by September 2024. Two years ago, the company told Wall Street it expected 60 million-90 million Disney Plus customers by that time.
For the sake of comparison, in Q1, Netflix gained about 4 million global streaming subscribers as it saw an even more dramatic slowdown after a COVID-fueled boom 2020.

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