Disney CEO Bob Iger said today during Disney’s Q1 earnings call that in the first three months of its launch, the company’s new Disney+ streaming service has brought 28.6 million subscribers online.
Iger says Disney+ has “exceeded” the company’s “greatest expectations.” The Verge reports the service has surpassed the number of subscribers claimed by HBO Now and is quickly gaining on Netflix’s 61 million U.S subscriber count (as of January 2020).
While those numbers certainly outrank Apple’s subscriber numbers for their fledgling Apple TV+ streaming service, it’s tough to know for sure. Apple hasn’t reported any subscriber numbers, and a large number of the subscribers it can boast are non-paying customers, thanks to the company’s offer of a free year of service with the purchase of a streaming capable Apple device.
It should be noted that Disney has also handed out some free Disney+ subscriptions, via an offer to Verizon customers. Plus, they have also offered huge discounts in the past for subscribers willing to commit to multiple-year subscriptions.
Apple TV+ faces an issue that many other streaming services do not, and that’s the inability to draw upon a huge library of content. Disney+ has a major edge in the content department, as it can draw on the massive Disney library of movies and shows, including content from the Star Wars and Marvel franchises.