The Walt Disney Company just announced that its streaming service Disney+ has more than 50 million subscribers.
These "paid subscriber" numbers include subscribers who are bringing in revenue for Disney but are not paying for the service themselves. (TechCrunch's parent company Verizon is offering a year of free Disney+ to some customers.) It also includes 8 million subscribers in India, where Disney+ launched last week as part of Hotstar, a popular streaming service that Disney owns thanks to the acquisition of Fox.
While Disney has been relatively slow to release scripted streaming originals after the initial splash of "The Mandalorian," it has been bringing its films like "Frozen 2," "Onward" and the upcoming "Artemis Fowl" to the service at an accelerated pace, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting theatrical closures.
The service has also been expanding internationally, launching in eight Western European countries — the U.K., Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria and Switzerland — in the past two weeks.
"We’re truly humbled that Disney+ is resonating with millions around the globe, and believe this bodes well for our continued expansion throughout Western Europe and into Japan and all of Latin America later this year,” said Kevin Mayer, the chairman of Disney's direct-to-consumer and international business, in a statement.
In its latest earnings report, Netflix (which is far more global than Disney+ right now) said it has 167 million paid memberships worldwide.