Disney+ Popularity Skyrockets Due to Quarantine



Hannah Olah, Staff Writer

Within 24 hours of its launch on November 12th, 2019, Disney+ had over 10 million subscribers.  The wildly popular streaming service airs every single Disney film in existence and includes Disney+ exclusive shows such as The Mandalorian, The Imagineering Story, The World According to Jeff Goldblum, and many more.  Disney+ launched right on time for quarantine, gaining millions of new subscribers looking for childhood favorites and new content to pass the time at home.  A mere five months after its launch, Disney+ hit 50 million subscribers worldwide.  To put this milestone into perspective, Netflix and Hulu, which have both been streaming since 2007, have 158 million and 30 million global subscribers respectively (CNBC.)  Not only has the pandemic raised streaming service subscriber counts, but it has also increased streaming time.  According to BBC, in the UK, time spent on subscription services doubled during the month of April, raising the overall average screen time 31%.  At the height of lockdown, the average adult spent six and a half hours a day watching TV.  As the pandemic slows down viewing is expected to lower, however, there is no denying that quarantine has provided streaming services with a major boost in popularity; statistics show that overall viewing figures have increased 71%.    

This surge in subscriptions and streaming time is especially important for Disney right now, as its theme parks and resorts are closed indefinitely due to COVID-19.  The pandemic has also forced some highly anticipated Disney+ exclusive shows to pause their production.  This has impacted Marvel fans in particular, who are awaiting the live action TV shows WandaVision, Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Loki, all of which were set to air on Disney+ in late 2020 through 2021 but are now advertised as “coming soon.”  Star Wars fans have had more luck with the service, getting the first season of The Mandalorian with the launch of Disney+ and now awaiting season 2 which is set to begin airing on October 30th. Disney’s The Mandalorian became wildly popular upon its release and continues to be a hit, providing the world with popular “Baby Yoda” memes and ending Netflix’s Stranger Things’ 21 week run as the world’s most in demand show in November 2019. The Disney+ content library currently contains over 500 films and 7,500 TV episodes, so if you still find yourself bored because of the pandemic it may be time to consider joining the 50 million loyal Disney+ subscribers (Business of Apps.)