A little over a year after its launch, Disney says it has already reached an astonishing 100 million subscribers.
The company announced the milestone at its annual shareholders meeting on Tuesday. Disney chief Bob Chapek said in a statement that the streaming platform’s success has inspired the company “to be even more ambitious, and to significantly increase our investment in the development of high-quality content.”
Chapek said — as the company has previously — that this includes a goal of more than 100 new titles on the platform each year from Disney+ properties, including Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic.
“Our direct-to-consumer business is the company’s top priority, and our robust pipeline of content will continue to fuel its growth,” Chapek added. Disney has said it plans to invest billions in the development of content for not only its Disney+ service but its Hulu and ESPN+ properties as well over the next couple of years.
Among announcements from the meeting, executive chairman and former Disney chief Bob Iger confirmed he will be stepping away from the company in December.
The service’s success has no doubt been helped by an overall uptick in streaming since the pandemic, but it’s likely owed to the service’s immensely popular exclusive debuts like Soul, The Mandalorian, and WandaVision, and a number of titles meant for theatres that instead premiered direct-to-consumer. The company said last year that it plans to rely on and invest in Disney+ exclusives to continue to draw new subscribers to the service.
According to new data from app analytics company SensorTower, Disney+ has hit roughly 186.5 million app installs globally from Google Play and the iOS App Store since it launched in November of 2019. The company told Gizmodo the figure represents the number of downloads from the respective app stores “at some point and isn’t tied to the subscriber number Disney shared.”
As for content heading to the platform in 2021, it’s probably safe to assume that Disney will continue exploring the same hybrid release model it used for Raya and the Last Dragon — at least until theatres return to something close to normal operations. The film debuted last week both in theatres as well as on demand through Disney’s Premier Access platform, which charges $40 to stream it early before the movie officially rolls out on Disney+ on June 4.
During Tuesday’s call, Chapek reiterated the company’s position that Disney+ will continue to “put the consumer in charge and let them decide when and how they want to enjoy our films, particularly as we navigate our way through the pandemic.”