Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Here's Why Disney+ Could Be Getting Even More Subscribers This Quarter

By Parkev Tatevosian - Jun 20, 2021 at 9:11AM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

The popular service has surpassed 100 million subscribers and is on its way to adding more.

Walt Disney (DIS -1.38%) is having remarkable success with its entry into the streaming business. Disney+ launched in November 2019 and has quickly amassed a subscriber base of over 100 million. And while its main competitor, Netflix, is experiencing a slowdown in subscriber growth, Disney could continue gaining ground.

This quarter may be an especially good one in terms of subscriber additions for Disney+. Let's take a look at the confluence of factors that explain why that might be so. 

A family watching a program together.

Image source: Getty Images.

International reach

Disney+ is a relatively new service, and the House of Mouse is only in the early stages of expanding across the globe. With each new country it enters, Disney+ attracts new subscribers. Just this month, the service expanded into two countries with a total population over 100 million: On June 1, it expanded into Malaysia, a market of 32 million people, and on June 30, it will follow in Thailand, home to nearly 70 million people.

Furthermore, Disney+ is available in India as Disney+ Hotstar, a popular combination of Disney's media and local, regional content. Here's what Disney CFO Christine McCarthy said to investors about the service in the second-quarter conference call: "Between Q1 and Q2, Disney+ Hotstar was the strongest contributor to net subscriber additions, making up approximately one-third of the total Disney+ subscriber base as of the end of the second quarter."

And while the U.S. is experiencing a substantial decline in coronavirus cases and easing of business restrictions, India is still in the thick of the battle against COVID-19. The country went through the most difficult phase in its battle in the past several months, with infections, hospitalizations, and deaths reaching record levels. As we saw in the U.S. in the most acute phases of the pandemic, lockdowns lead to a surge in demand for in-home entertainment. That could have led to millions of more subscribers signing up to Disney+ from India.

Content is king

Disney is known for some of the best entertainment properties in the world, and it's certainly not holding out on its streaming platform. Disney+ is receiving a treasure trove of films and series on an ongoing basis, the pace of which will increase as COVID-related restrictions on production ease. This quarter specifically, Disney+ made several popular titles available to subscribers.

Disney's Raya and the Last Dragon became available for free to existing subs after a period in which it was available for purchase at $29.99. The movie grossed $133 million at the box office, and undoubtedly some viewers are looking forward to watching it.

Similarly, Disney's Cruella became available in theaters on May 28 and on Disney+ for $29.99. Estimates suggest nearly 700,000 households paid for the privilege to stream it in the film's opening weekend alone. Those figures have likely increased since then, and certainly, some folks were new to Disney+ entirely.

On June 18, Disney will release Pixar's Luca exclusively on Disney+ for free to subscribers. The buzz and interest around the new Pixar film could further fuel subscriber additions.

Finally, the company recently premiered its latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Loki. The third Marvel original series to be released on the platform scored the highest in first-day viewership, with an estimated 890,000 households tuning in.

Indeed, international expansion, the resurgence of COVID-19 in India, and a slate of exciting new content are likely to have added millions of new subscribers to Disney+ this quarter. 

 

Parkev Tatevosian owns shares of Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Netflix and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

The Walt Disney Company Stock Quote
The Walt Disney Company
DIS
$106.63 (-1.38%) $-1.49
Netflix, Inc. Stock Quote
Netflix, Inc.
NFLX
$226.78 (-1.36%) $-3.13

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
377%
 
S&P 500 Returns
123%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 08/08/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.