Disney+ may already be outpacing the subscriber growth forecasts Disney laid out for it in 2019 and analyst firm MoffettNathanson expects the streaming service to blow past those estimates by 2024.
In a research note, analyst Michael Nathanson said he expects Disney+ to have 155 million worldwide subscribers – including more than 50 million domestic subscribers – by 2024. That total would be significantly ahead of the 60 million to 90 million subscriber range Disney projected during last year’s Disney+ investor day. Disney also predicted that its new streaming service, which launched in November 2019, will be profitable by 2024.
“While it is still too early to know how the profitability forecast will play out depending on how much Disney will seek to re-invest the higher revenue run rate into programming, we can see the dramatic upside at Disney+ relative to the company’s initial guidance and our estimates after the investor day,” Nathanson wrote.
During the same investor day, Disney projected that Hulu will grow to between 40 million and 60 million subscribers and ESPN+ will grow to between 8 million and 12 million by 2024. MoffettNathanson now estimates that Hulu will reach 66 million subscribers and ESPN+ will reach 18 million subscribers by 2024.
The firm also expects that Disney+ will rapidly scale in international markets. The service has been steadily adding international markets to its footprint. In September, Disney+ went live in Portugal, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Belgium and Luxembourg.
At last count in August, Disney+ was up to 60.5 million subscribers, already pushing past the low end of its 2024 guidance.
At an investor conference in September, Disney CFO Christine McCarthy declined to update the Disney+ guidance but insisted that the company was not “sandbagging” when it initially issued the figures in 2019. She also said that her company will provide updates on Disney+ investments at the next Disney investor day.