The effects of the coronavirus pandemic on demand for streaming video services has led one analyst to dramatically revise growth forecasts for Disney+.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Digital TV Research analyst Simon Murray now predicts Disney+ will have 202 million subscribers globally by 2025. That’s significantly higher than his previous estimate of 126 million.
"We have completely revised our forecasts for 138 countries in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic," he wrote in a research report. "A major impact of lockdown has been a steep rise in SVOD subscriptions.”
At an investor day last year, Disney said that it expected Disney+ will grow to between 60 million and 90 million subscribers by 2024. Even before Disney last week updated the subscriber total for the service to 54.5 million, many other analysts were updating their models to put growth for Disney+ ahead of the company’s forecast, which has begun to look very conservative.
MoffettNathanson predicted – before Disney reported first-quarter earnings on May 5 – that Disney+ will have 76 million subscribers worldwide by the end of 2021.
Disney said during its most recent earnings call last week that the company isn’t prepared yet to update its guidance for Disney+ for subscriber growth and profitability.
Disney+ launched in the U.S. on November 12 and said it amassed 10 million sign-ups after its first day. This year, the service has rolled out in eight Western European counties including the U.K., Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, and Switzerland. Disney+ also became available on April 3 in India, where it is offered in conjunction with the existing Hotstar service, which the company said already accounts for approximately 8 million Disney+ subscribers.
Disney+ will begin rolling out in Japan in June, followed the Nordics, Belgium, Luxembourg and Portugal in September, and Latin America toward the end of 2020.