By the end of November, Disney+ had signed up an estimated 24 million subscribers in the US. That number far exceeds the predictions from analysts before launch, which estimated that the new streaming service would have under 20 million subscribers by the end of 2019.
These numbers come from Cowen & Co. and are based on a survey conducted last month. In that survey, 21% of the 2500 respondents said they had signed up for Disney+ in November. The same research shows that the growth of Disney+ in that time also led to an additional estimated 1 million Netflix cancellations in the US.
“The incremental churn uptick [for Netflix] appears reasonable given the Disney+ launch, which has been highly publicized and includes various marketing programs, including a Verizon promotion that offers Disney+ for free for one year,” the Cowen & Co. analysts wrote.
While this is a blow to Netflix, the numbers “appear manageable” according to the analysts. There are a few factors working in Netflix’s favor. First, the streaming service has a solid lineup for the month, including The Irishman and Marriage Story, both receiving buzz from critics and audiences.
Cowen & Co. also point out that many of Disney+’s current subscribers aren’t paying for the service. According to their numbers, about one third or 8 million subscribers are watching for free with Verizon’s deal offering a year of Disney+ for free for Verizon Unlimited customers.
While Disney released initial numbers for subscriber growth, the company has said they don’t plan to release additional information until their next quarterly earnings call.
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