Disney+ to Reach 194 Million Subscribers in 2025, Analyst Forecasts

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"There seems to be a rapid slowdown in subscriber growth in countries after an impressive surge at launch," says Digital TV Research's Simon Murray about the update, which is above his most recent estimate, but below an earlier projection.

Disney+ will reach more than 194 million subscribers worldwide by 2025, Digital TV Research analyst Simon Murray forecast in a Monday report.

That is up from his September projection of 172 million, but down from an earlier estimate of 202 million, which marked an increase from a 126 million forecast and his initial estimate of 101 million.

Observers have updated their projections after better-than-expected figures for the quarter ended in September. Murray lauded the momentum of Disney+, writing: "Much of Disney+’ initial growth came from the U.S., mainly due to the attractive bundle of Disney+ with ESPN+ and Hulu. More recently, India’s Disney+ Hotstar subs count has rocketed due to its coverage of IPL cricket. The U.S. and India will account for nearly half of Disney+’ subscriber base by 2025."

Explaining why he has doesn't expect the service crossing the 200 million user mark in 2025 anymore, he said: "Apart from India, with cricket driving nearly 10 million more subs for Hotstar in the quarter to September, there seems to be a rapid slowdown in subscriber growth in countries after an impressive surge at launch. Disney is very good at pre-selling and launch promotions, but subscriber growth seems to slow after this initial period."

Based on latest financial and subscriber updates, Digital TV Research said it expects five global platforms to have 678 million subscription VOD subscribers by 2025. Disney+ will add 112 million subscribers between 2020 and 2025 to take its total to 194 million. Netflix will add 73 million subscribers, "revealing strong growth even for the longest established platform," it added. That will bring its total to 274 million in 2025, the firm forecast, up from its previous expectation of 263 million.

In terms of 2025 revenue, Murray projects Netflix to reach $37 billion, while Disney+ will generate $13 billion. The analyst called that "impressive since it only started in November 2019," adding: "However, this is a lot lower than Netflix due to lower average revenue per user charged in developing markets."

Amazon will reach 167 million subs in 2025, HBO Max will get to 28.5 million, and Apple TV+ will hit 13.4 million, according to Murray's latest forecasts.