Before Disney + debuted a year ago, executives told investors that in five years the service would have between 60 and 90 million paid subscribers worldwide. By October 3, the service had unlocked 73 million subscribers – well above expectations five years before it even debuted in Latin America this week – and new data from Morning Consult Brand Intelligence shows the importance of the service to viewers in the USA has become US
New data from the global data intelligence firm released on Thursday found that nearly half of millennial parents use Disney + at least once a week. This shows the resilience of the streamer in households with children, which was long expected to be one of the biggest initial growth spurts when the service was rolled out.
But it's not just parents with kids who flock to the streaming service. A third of childless millennials watch Disney + at least once a week, and a total of 42% of millennials use it at least once a week. Younger viewers also use the service: 44% of Gen Z viewers – defined as people born after 1997 and many of whom have no children – watch it weekly or more often.
Including all ages, 26% of US adults watch Disney + at least once a week on average, according to Morning Consult Brand Intelligence. By comparison, around 10% of adults in the US watch the Apple streamer Apple TV +, which debuted around the same time with the same regularity.
The rapid increase in the service among users without children underscores the importance of Disney's strategic decision to add adult shows like The Simpsons to the service in order to make the service more appealing to adults, regardless of whether they are parents.
And even as the Covid-19 shutdowns earlier this year resulted in a spike in streaming usage, Disney + usage was remarkably consistent through 2020, showing that consistent usage had set in before the pandemic began.
There are also no significant declines, suggesting that Disney + has not seen any declines as some of its more famous original series, including Marvel originals WandaVision, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, faced delays on Covid-19. (Disney announced this week that WandaVision will premiere on January 15th instead of a previously scheduled December debut.)
To fill these programming gaps, Disney + added a few theatrical releases such as Onward, Hamilton and Mulan to the streamer throughout the year. Soul, an original Pixar movie, will debut on Disney + on Christmas Day, the company announced last month.
The success of Disney + is one that Disney aims to replicate with the debut of an international streamer under the Disney Star brand in 2021. The company plans to share more with investors on December 10 about its broader direct-to-consumer strategy.