Beat Netflix. Disney Announces Plans to Further Develop its Streaming Services

15 December 2020

At a presentation for investors, The Walt Disney Company spoke about the future of Disney+, as well as the new “Star Wars”, a long-term contract with the Kardashian family and the fifth season of “Maid’s Tales”

On December 10, Disney CEO Bob Chapek and Chairman of the Board Bob Eiger held an online conference at which company executives reported. Chapek is proud to say that Disney streaming services have become incredibly popular, and this is just the beginning. “More than 137 million subscribers in the world reinforce our confidence in the direct-to-consumer model,” said the company’s chairman.

As of December 2, 2020, the number of subscribers to The Walt Disney Company’s streaming services exceeds 137 million: ESPN+ has 11.5 million subscribers, Hulu has 38.8 million, and Disney+ has an impressive 86.8 million. However, the company aims for even more serious figures: 300-350 million subscribers by the end of 2024.

To achieve the high goal, the company will continue to invest in content. More than 100 projects will be created each year for Disney+ alone.

Disney+ vs. Netflix

Disney’s most powerful competitor to streaming services is Netflix with its nearly 200 million subscribers. At the same time, the companies’ path to global success is very different.

Netflix broadcasts a similar package of general entertainment programs in all countries of its presence and follows approximately the same pricing policy (with some regional differences). Disney chooses a completely different tactic: different content offerings for different regions. The company plans to adapt versions of its four streaming services Disney Plus, ESPN Plus, Star and Hulu for key international markets. To attract more subscribers to Disney Plus in Europe, the company will promote TV shows and movies for adult audiences, and in Latin America — sports content.

Early next year, Disney will integrate its Star brand into Disney Plus in Europe and raise the price for the service. In Latin America, the company aims to sell consumers a Disney Plus package and a Star offer that includes entertainment and live broadcasts of sporting events. The package will cost less than both services separately.

The company expects that by 2024 Star content will help increase the army of Disney Plus subscribers to 230-260 million compared to 86.8 million this year. Disney also expects that the Hulu service will attract 50 to 60 million subscribers, and ESPN Plus — from 20 up to 30 million.

What Disney will surprise subscribers

  • Over the next few years, Disney+ will feature about 10 Star Wars saga projects, 10 projects from the Marvel movie universe, 15 feature and animated series from Disney Animation and Pixar, and 15 full-length Disney and Pixar feature and animated films.
  • In 2021, Disney+ will release four game series: The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers, Big Shot, The Mysterious Benedict Society and Turner & Hooch.
  • The stunning National Geographic package for Disney+ will include projects Limitless With Chris Hemsworth, Welcome to Earth (working title) with Will Smith and the fourth season of the anthology series “Genius” about the story of Martin Luther King Jr.
  • The Kardashian family has signed a multi-year contract and will create exclusive content for the American platform Hulu and the international service Star.
  • One of Hulu’s most popular series, The Maid’s Tale, has been extended for a fifth season.
  • FX is working on the first episode of the adaptation of the classic science fiction horror “Alien” and is in talks to shoot two seasons of the drama series The Stones about The Rolling Stones.
  • Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Production has announced the feature films “Cruella”, as well as the prequels “The Lion King” and “The Little Mermaid”.
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