Disney+ U.S. subscriber growth stalls in 2021: report

Disney Plus Comcast
The Disney+ app launched on Comcast's X1 and Flex platforms earlier this year. (Comcast)

Disney+ broke out with huge domestic subscriber additions after launching in November 2019 but has reportedly seen U.S. growth stall in the first half of 2021.

According to The Information, Disney+ had about 110 million subscribers as of early July, up from the 103.6 million it reported at the end of April 2021. However, most of those subscribers are now coming from Latin America and India, a market which now accounts for 38 million of the Disney+ subscriber total after adding 12 million in the past six months.

In comparison, the U.S. and Canada reportedly account for 38 million Disney+ subscribers combined. According to the report, Disney+ had 37 million subscribers in North America at the start of February.

The rapid growth for Disney+ in India—where it is sold as part of the existing Hotstar service—has been a boon to the service’s customer base. However, the much smaller price tag for Disney+ in India and some other international markets has significant driven down the average revenue per user for the service.

RELATED: Disney+ surpasses 100M global subscribers

During the first quarter, Disney+ ARPU fell from $5.63 to $3.99, a 29% year over year decrease that mostly held steady with the rate of decline during the previous quarter.

Disney expects between 230 million and 260 million Disney+ subscribers by 2024 and that 30% to 40% of those subscribers will come from Disney+ Hotstar.

According to recent data from Kantar, HBO Max claimed the dominant share of new U.S. SVOD subscribers during the first quarter. The service grabbed 14.4% of new customers while Amazon Prime Video followed with 13.2%, and Paramount+ and Disney+ trailed with 11.8% and 11.6% of new additions, respectively.

Kantar’s data suggested that overall, “WandaVision” and “The Mandalorian” were the top two rated SVOD titles during the first quarter.

“It’s clear that Disney+ is winning acclaim for the quality of its titles, but consumer sentiment is also improving significantly across the amount of original content it offers – net satisfaction in this area as improved from +20% in Q1 2020 to +33% in Q1 2021, a key measure for long-term retention,” the research company said in a news release.