What qualifies as a successful launch for a new video-streaming service? How about 10m signups by your second day? That’s the number being touted by Disney yesterday for its Disney+ service, which launched on Tuesday.
The announcement helped Disney’s stock shoot up by nearly 7.4%, adding more than $13bn to its market cap, according to CNBC. Caveat: ‘signups’ includes people signing up for a seven-day free trial of Disney+, so there will be some drop-off at the start of next week. Also, US telco Verizon is offering a year’s free Disney+ to its customers, which will also juice the figures (although to what extent, Disney wasn’t saying). Bear in mind, though, that the 10 million people are from only three countries: the US, Canada and the Netherlands, with Australia and New Zealand to follow later this month, but the biggest European countries having to wait until March 2020.
To take the obvious comparison: Netflix had 158.3m global streaming paid memberships at the end of September, so for Disney+ to have reached 6.3% of that total in a handful of countries by the end of its second day represents a strong start – albeit in a race that’s very much a marathon not a sprint.