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Disney Plus smashes targets again, aims for 260 million subs by 2024

Disney CEO Bob Chapek said the huge popularity of Disney Plus has exceeded the company’s “wildest expectations.”

Disney Plus has once again smashed through its self-set subscriber targets, after already reaching 86.8 million worldwide subs.

During its annual investor day event, Disney revealed it now expects the streamer to have between 230-260 million total paid subscribers by the end of fiscal year 2024. Disney CEO Bob Chapek said the huge popularity of Disney Plus has exceeded the company’s “wildest expectations.”

This forecast includes Star subscribers, as the global streamer is being bundled in with Disney Plus from February 2021.

According to analyst Paolo Pescatore, there are other areas of growth that will help drive those figures even higher. “Disney Plus is yet to be available globally. Therefore, firmly expect it to smash its own target of 260 million a lot sooner than by 2024,” he tells TVBEurope.

“With the advent of new foldable, rollable devices and multiple screens this opens up new ways of engaging with users in different ways by presenting a myriad of information such as video streams with interactive data. Expect to see the emergence of new business models driven by new consumer behaviour. You could be playing/watching on one screen while information is displayed on the other experience without interrupting your viewing experience.”

However, the increase in content will lead of a rise in price for consumers. Disney Plus will cost €8.99 a month in continental Europe with a “similar adjustment” in other markets.

The company announced a whole swathe of new content as part of the event – significantly expanding its Star Wars, Marvel and Pixar IP. It said it expects to spend between $14-16 billion on streaming content a year by 2024.

With Disney going all in on Star Wars and Marvel, HBO Max has DC, and Amazon is working on Lord of the Rings content, where does this leave Netflix? Pescatore says the current market leader still has plenty to keep the entire household entertained. “Arguably, it needs to strengthen its catalogue for kids and create compelling IP around a franchise; a proven model for Disney.

“This is something that Netflix should strongly consider as it diversifies for future growth. For now, it won’t feel threatened by these moves. Netflix still remains an indispensable part of the family’s pay TV needs.”