Though Disney’s streaming service recently tapped the brakes when it comes to subscribers, as evidenced by analyst Steven Cahall’s report in late September, Disney+ is on track to reach more subscribers than its biggest competitor, Netflix, by the year 2025.
The forecast comes from the research firm Digital TV Research, which projected that Disney+ subscribers will reach 284.2 million in 5 years. The firm had originally predicted that the Mouse’s streaming customers would stand at 294.0 million strong by 2026, but at 284.2 million, Disney+ will finally eclipse the competition, as predictions that originally saw Neflix with 286.0 million subscribers by 2026 have been rethought, and forecasters now say Netflix will more likely have closer to 271 million subscribers 5 years from now.
And it’s no wonder with the success the platform has had in its short, almost-two-years-long availability. Series like The Mandalorian stayed on the top of the charts for most streamed, as has Disney’s Cruella. Other shows like WandaVision only helped the platform to stay in high demand.
“Three platforms will control nearly half the world’s SVOD subscriptions by 2026,” says Digital TV Research. “Disney+ will be the biggest winner, overtaking Netflix in 2025.”
The firm’s latest report goes on to show predictions that Disney+ will see the addition of 140 million subscribers between now and 2026, bringing its total team of subscribers to 284 million strong. Of all its subscribers by 2026, 43%, or roughly 121 million total, will subscribe under the Hotstar brand in one of 13 different Asian countries Disney+ will serve.
Though projections show Disney+ becoming the frontrunner in the streaming wars, it won’t be because of a stagnation in Netflix’s growth, according to Digital TV Research’s report, which forecasts an additional 53 million subscribers joining Netflix by 2026. Amazon Prime is also on track to hit just over 243 million subscribers by the same time, according to the analysis.
Who do the number 4 spots and beyond belong to? Digital TV Research has its money on China’s Tencent service for the number 4 spot by 2026 with 98.7 million users, China’s iQiyi with 76.8 million users in the number 5 spot and HBO in 6th place with just over 76 million subscribers.