Disney+ Service Has Strong Start with 41 Million Downloads

Since its debut two months ago, the Disney+ mobile app has been downloaded from the Apple Store and Google Play 41 million times — four times as many as HBO Now — earning nearly $100 million, reports Sensor Tower. That news sent Disney shares up two percent to $146.72. In Q4 2019, Disney+ was downloaded 30 million times, more than twice that of TikTok. According to a YouGov survey, 76 percent of respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with Disney+ compared to 48 percent for Apple TV+.

Bloomberg notes that Sensor Tower’s data “isn’t comprehensive … [because] it excludes many of the devices that viewers use to watch Disney+ — such as Roku, gaming consoles or Amazon Fire TV.” It predicts that, at $7 per month, Disney+ will likely “attract as many as 90 million subscribers worldwide in five years.”

Disney+ initially launched in “several countries,” unlike HBO Now; about 85 percent of downloads have been in the U.S., with the rest “spread across Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands.” Netflix is still the leader, with 150 million global subscribers. Sensor Tower pointed out that streaming pioneers “Netflix and Hulu had to feel out the market in their early days, adjusting their strategies over time … [whereas Disney+] has been able to employ its predecessors’ learnings for success early on.”

TechCrunch reports that Disney+’s 18 million Apple App Store downloads and 12 million Google Play downloads made the app “the most downloaded app” in both stores. In addition to besting TikTok, Disney+ beat out YouTube, which had held the No. 1 spot for four quarters. On Google Play, “no other app had surpassed 10 million in U.S. downloads … in a quarter since Facebook Messenger did back in 2017.”

In its first 30 days, Disney+ grossed more than $50 million, beating “(SVOD) rivals, like HBO NOW and Showtime.” Disney+ was also “able to reach 71 percent of Netflix’s peak revenue in December.” Its 30 million U.S. installs also surpassed “more than Hulu and Amazon Prime Video had in all of 2019.” Disney+ was boosted by promotions, such as Verizon offering a year for free and Google giving three free months to Chromebook owners.

Variety reports that the YouGov online survey, conducted with Variety Intelligence Platform (VIP) in December 2019, tapped 1,182 U.S. adults. With 0 meaning “very dissatisfied” and 5 “very satisfied,” 76 percent gave Disney+ a 4 or 5; only 48 percent of respondents gave this high rating to Apple TV+. Just behind Disney+ were Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu. Apple’s downfall with its TV app appears to be its user interface, with only 53 percent ranking it a 4 or 5, compared with 77 percent for Disney+.

“This may help explain why survey respondents indicated that it took them longer to find content to watch on Apple TV+ than on Disney+, even though Disney had 7,500 TV episodes and 500 movies at launch, while Apple’s SVOD launched with close to only 10 originals.”

25% of Users Watching Netflix on Their iPhones Also Watch Disney+, Vox, 1/15/20

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