Bombshell for Netflix as Disney wins battle of the streaming giants with 221m subscribers
Disney has become the world’s biggest subscription TV streaming company after it overtook Netflix on the total number of subscribers.
Results from the US media giant revealed that it now has 221m total subscriptions across its three streaming platforms. This puts it just ahead of Netlfix’s reported 220.67m total global subscribers.
The success came as it released Star Wars series Obi-Wan Kenobi and Marvel’s Ms. Marvel in the third quarter, building on hit series from earlier in the year like Pam & Tommy, which saw Lily James dramatically transform herself into the blonde bombshell Pamela Anderson.
Dazzling: Pam & Tommy saw Lily James (pictured) dramatically transform herself into the blonde bombshell Pamela Anderson
Disney also revealed it will be bringing in a big price increase for those who want to watch Disney+ without adverts.
The latest figures showed Disney+, its main streaming service, had gained 14.4m subscribers in the latest quarter. This compares with Netflix which lost nearly a million in its most recent results.
As part of its results, the Star Wars and Marvel Entertainment owner revealed it will introduce a hike price in the US, which will be expected to be rolled out globally.
This will coincide with the introduction of an ad-funded service in America later this year, which will remain at the existing subscription price of $7.99.
The UK subscription price for Disney+ is £7.99. The ad-free service will be raised to $10.99 per month in America. Disney is expected to launch the ad-funded offer outside of the US next year.
The company’s total subscriber figure of 221m subscriptions, which outstripped Wall Street predictions, also includes figures for Hulu and sports service ESPN+. The main Disney+ service accounted for 152m subscribers.
This is the first time any competitor has beaten Netflix on the number of total subscribers. One analyst described this as a ‘pivotal moment in the streaming wars’.
But the company has admitted that its subscriber growth will be hit as a result of its loss of streaming rights to Indian Premier League cricket matches.