What happened

Shares of Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) surged on Friday, following the entertainment titan's investor day presentation late on Thursday. As of 1:15 p.m. EST, Disney's stock was up more than 14%.

So what 

Disney announced that its massively popular streaming service, Disney+, now has more than 86 million subscribers. That's about as many subscribers as the company hoped to obtain by fiscal 2024. Management previously set a five-year target of 60 million to 90 million subscribers when the service launched in 2019. 

A person is holding out an upwardly sloping digital chart.

Disney+ is growing at a torrid clip. Image source: Getty Images.

People are flocking to Disney's new streaming service during the coronavirus pandemic as they seek out safer -- and often cheaper -- home-based entertainment options. The media giant, in turn, now expects to achieve as many as 260 million Disney+ subscribers by 2024. For context, Netflix ended the third quarter with 195 million global subscribers. 

Now what 

Disney+ is a game-changer. Streaming has long been seen as a threat to Disney's empire, one that was poised to wrestle away its valuable cable customers year after year. But with Disney+, the entertainment titan has emerged as a formidable force in the streaming arena. Rather than a threat, streaming is now a powerful growth driver for Disney -- one that should help push its stock to more highs in the years ahead.

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