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Disney Plus set for faster global growth than originally thought

Morgan Stanley predicts bullish growth for the streamer

Disney’s forthcoming streaming service, Disney+, is predicted to be a bigger hit internationally than previously expected, according to analysts at Morgan Stanley.

The company has raised its estimates for Disney’s subscriber growth because it now expects Disney+ to launch faster globally than previously thought, primarily because of the investment Disney is making in content around its already established brands such as Star Wars, Marvel and Pixar.

“Stepping back and admittedly taking the long view, investing in Disney shares is a play on the durability of its IP,” a note from the analysts at Morgan Stanley said. “Encouragingly, consumers are already voting with their wallets today, spending an estimated $15-20 billion a year for movies and TV product that will ultimately make its way to Disney+.”

Despite the bullish prediction for Disney’s streamer internationally, Morgan Stanley noted it still expects Netflix to be the market leader.

It forecasts that Netflix will reach 280 million paid subscribers in 2024, compared with about 130 million across Disney’s three services (Disney+, Hulu and ESPN).

Morgan Stanley estimates Disney+ on its own will reach 70 million subscribers globally by 2024. It suggests the slower growth rate may be because subscription streaming is still a relatively small part of the TV market and people may be less willing to spend money on new services.

“The global opportunity for Disney+ is significant as it goes to market with a brand and IP advantage, but faces questions on execution and quality of content,” the note said.

Disney+ is expected to launch in November.