Disney+ Hits 50 Million Paid Subscribers

Disney+ Demo - H - 2019

Disney on Wednesday also said 8 million subscribers of the global figure were from India alone.

Following its Nov. 12 launch, streaming service Disney+ has surpassed the 50 million paid subscriber milestone globally, the Walt Disney Co. disclosed Wednesday. 

The uptick in subscribers comes after the nearly five-month-old service began to roll out in more countries around the world. On March 24, the service became available in the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Spain and other European countries. It launched in India on Friday.

Disney said that the India launch — which was conducted in conjunction with the Hotstar service it acquired in its purchase of the Fox assets — accounts for around eight million of Disney+'s subscribers.  

"We're truly humbled that Disney+ is resonating with millions around the globe, and believe this bodes well for our continued expansion throughout Western Europe and into Japan and all of Latin America later this year," Kevin Mayer, chairman of Walt Disney direct-to-consumer & international, said in a statement. "Great storytelling inspires and uplifts, and we are in the fortunate position of being able to deliver a vast array of great entertainment rooted in joy and optimism on Disney+."

By reaching the 50 million milestone, Disney+ has shot past corporate sister service Hulu, which has more than 30 million subs. It still has a ways to go to catch streaming giant Netflix and its 167 million subs. But Disney+'s growth has been quick; it has nearly doubled its base since it last disclosed its subscriber growth in early February. And the service has already amassed an audience that is nearly one-third of the size of Netflix, which began offering streaming video more than a decade ago.

Disney did not say whether it attributes some of the service's recent growth to the coronavirus pandemic, which has brought daily life around the world to a standstill and caused an uptick in streaming viewership. Disney+, which had 10 million signups in the U.S. in its first 24 hours of availability, offers a vast library of programming, from original series like The Mandalorian to classic TV shows like The Simpsons to films from Marvel, Pixar and Lucasfilm.

Disney shares, which closed the day flat, were trading up more than 6 percent after-hours on the Disney+ news.