Q1, which for Disney ended in December 2019, has been described as a “pivotal quarter” for the company. Investors have been waiting for this call to hear about the impact that the launch of Disney+ has had on the numbers.
Disney+ now has 26.8 million subscribers. Disney reported that Disney+ had 26.5 million paid subscribers as of December 28, 2019, to end the first quarter.
When asked where subscribers came from, specifically how many subscribers are watching thanks to the Verizon deal, Disney said 50% came directly through the Disney+ website. 20% came from Verizon, with the rest coming from other distributors like iTunes. The Disney bundle deal, they said, has helped to keep customers rather than seeing a drop off after free trials.
These are the first official numbers we’ve heard from Disney+ since the week the streaming service launched in November 2019 when Disney announced that they had reached 10 million subscribers on day one. Analysts predicted that the updated number being reported today would be between 22-25 million. Iger commented on the call that the launch and growth has exceeded the company’s expectations.
While a few of the Disney+ original series drew in large audiences, Iger says 65% of people who watched The Mandalorian also watched 10 other shows or movies on the service. He went on to say that 50% of users have watched movies on Disney+.
“We had a strong first quarter, highlighted by the launch of Disney+, which has exceeded even our greatest expectations,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “Thanks to our incredible collection of brands, outstanding content from our creative engines and state-of-the-art technology, we believe our direct-to-consumer services, including Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu, position us well for continued growth in today’s dynamic media environment.”
Disney+ will be adding more content, including three new original Marvel series, to the platform in the upcoming months. The second season of The Mandalorian will premiere on the service this October. The company expects the next jump in subscribers to come when these series are released.
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