Disney+ Subscribers Swell To 50 Million Amid COVID-19 Crisis
It looks like Disney+, the streaming service from the Walt Disney Co., is shaping up to be worthy competition to Netflix as the number of its subscribers swelled to 50 million.
The Hollywood Reporter says that the streaming service now has 50 million paid subscribers around the world, with 8 million of those subscribers coming from India.
The swell in subscribers is an impressive feat considering the service was only launched five months ago. Over the course of those months, Disney+ rolled out to other markets like Spain, Italy, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and other European countries. On Apr.3, India became the latest country to have the service.
The number of Disney+ subscribers now catapults it past Hulu and its 30 million subscribers. It also puts its number of subscribers at a third of Netflix’s, which currently has 167 million subscribers. During the first 24 hours of its launch, Disney+ was able to amass 10 million subscribers.
The increase has resulted in a jump in Disney shares. According to CNBC, after-hours trading saw a seven percent jump in Disney shares. The subscriber count is an impressive increase when compared to the 26.5 million subscribers it had when Disney released its first-quarter earnings report.
This good news is certainly something that the Walt Disney Co. needs to hear, as the company has been rocked in the past couple of weeks by news of discontent among its executives due to announced salary cuts caused by the coronavirus crisis.
In an email sent out by Disney CEO Bob Chapek, vice presidents, senior vice presidents, and executive vice presidents were told that the would receive cuts to their base salaries ranging from 20 to 30 percent. Chapek himself would get a 50 percent cut while Disney chairman Bob Iger will forego almost all of his base salary.
Beyond Disney’s woes, the entertainment industry, in general, is in crisis because of the coronavirus. The North American box office suffered a $600 million deficit during the month of March caused by the moviehouse closures brought about by the coronavirus. Globally, the film industry is set to lose $5 billion because of theater closures in markets like Japan and South Korea.
It does not look like the industry is going to recover anytime soon either, as numbers from both the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) only show an increase in confirmed cases.
According to the latest situation report from the World Health Organization, there are currently 1,353,361 confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide. The number of fatalities around the world is at 79,235 people.
Meanwhile, the CDC says that 12,754 people have now died from the coronavirus in the United States. Confirmed COVID-19 cases are now at 395,011.