In less than two years since it first launched, Disney+ has become a giant in the streaming business. As of May 2021, Disney’s streaming service had garnered over 103 million subscribers.
As impressive as 103 million subscribers seems, that figure was actually short of industry projections, hinting that the impressive growth Disney+ has experienced thus far could be fading.
So what exactly is going on with the streaming service? Has Disney+ peaked, and it’s all “downhill” from here?
While Disney+ is poised to remain an industry leader for years to come, there’s an argument to be made that its first “rush” of subscribers is over — essentially, that the honeymoon phase has come and gone. Let’s discuss why Disney+ may and may not have peaked.
Why Disney+ may have already peaked:
Disney+ is coming off some mega hits! The Mandalorian, WandaVision, Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Loki are just a few examples of the massive successes Disney+ has seen in terms of streaming and new subscribers. How can they possibly top this? There’s nowhere to go from here but down, right?
Not only has Disney+ released successful original series that seem impossible to top, but their Premier Access program, which charges subscribers an additional $30 to stream new theatrical releases, seemed to have a slow launch with Mulan and Raya and the Last Dragon. However, this model has seemed to pick up steam throughout 2021.
Disney+ delayed the opening of bigger box office bets like Black Widow, which went on to earn approximately $60 million on Disney+ alone on opening weekend, while Jungle Cruise earned approximately $30 million over opening weekend.
With no additional major movies currently on deck to premiere on Disney+, does that signal that the streaming service is past its peak? Not necessarily!
Why Disney+ may NOT have peaked yet:
Many may believe that the lingering effects of the COVID pandemic could mean a slower return to movie theaters than originally anticipated. As of right now, Jungle Cruise was the last film to have a scheduled simultaneous release on Disney+ and in theaters, but that could still change. We may not have yet seen the end of Disney+ being the primary method of consuming the latest Walt Disney Studios, Marvel, Lucasfilm, or Pixar release.
In addition to future theatrical releases, Disney+ has several upcoming series that should draw in viewers as well, including What If…?, Ms. Marvel, Hawkeye, season 3 of The Mandalorian, and The Book of Boba Fett.
Don’t forget, not only have these top-performing titles continued to bring in more and more domestic viewers, but Disney+ has also experienced international success and growth as well with Disney+ Hotstar.
Ultimately, Disney+’s best days may still be ahead. Despite the fact that the streaming service entered the industry with white-hot successes like The Mandalorian and Loki, there are many more original series coming down the pike as well as the latest film releases drawing in more and more new viewers.
What is your favorite Disney+ original series so far? Let us know in the comments!
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