As Disney+ enters the U.K., analysts predict big global prospects

Disney+
Disney+ launched in the U.S. on Nov. 12 priced at $6.99 per month. (Disney)

Disney’s subscription streaming service, Disney+, is entering the U.K. just as a national lockdown has been ordered.

As more people are staying put to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, MIDiA Research said Disney+ is sitting at the front end of the “direct-to-consumer big bang moment.”

“While the near-inevitable massive spike in Disney+ engagement will be largely hidden from Disney’s Q2 (calendar Q1 results) due to the U.K. and the U.S. only moving into lockdown mode at the end of the quarter, Disney is building up consumer demand and familiarity which it will be able to leverage in its battle for market share against its new D2C competitors of Apple TV+, Peacock and HBO Max, as well as the existing market leaders of Netflix and Amazon Prime,” MIDiA wrote in a research note.

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Disney+ previously announced plans to launch in the U.K., Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, and Switzerland on March 24. Additional Western Europe markets, including Belgium, the Nordics, and Portugal, will follow in summer 2020. It will be priced at £5.99/€6.99 per month, or £59.99/€69.99 for an annual subscription.

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Disney+ launched in the U.S. on Nov. 12 priced at $6.99 per month. At the same time, it arrived in Canada and the Netherlands priced at $8.99CAD per month (or $89.99 per year) and €6.99 per month (or €69.99 per year), respectively. In November, Disney+ also launched in Australia and New Zealand, priced at $8.99AUD per month (or $89.99 per year) and $9.99NZD per month (or $99.99 per year), respectively.

As the Disney+ international rollout ramps up, analyst firm MoffettNathanson attempted to measure the global opportunity by comparing and contrasting per capita box office attendance, ticket pricing and Disney’s share of local box office.

“Our work shows that Disney has a meaningful opportunity to penetrate non-U.S. markets – especially in those ‘Clones of the U.S.’ markets where Disney’s content has dominated the box office,” wrote Michael Nathanson in a research note.

The firm said Disney is entering a Western European market with strong media consumption, Disney film interest, discretionary income and English-language fluency.

“Meanwhile, India represents the largest subscriber TAM outside of China where Disney is poised to leverage mobile leader Hotstar to drive awareness and sampling,” Nathanson wrote.

Disney+ got off to a big start in 2019 with more than 26.5 million global subscribers. MoffettNathanson predicts the service will add more than 19 million paid subscribers in 2020 with Western Europe and India launches, and more than 23 million paid subscribers in 2021 amid a broader rollout in Eastern Europe, APAC and LATAM markets.

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