- Disney Plus has 94.9 million subscribers, according to its first-quarter earnings reports.
- The company has set a new goal to reach up to 260 million sign-ups by 2024.
- The subscriber surge was driven by the release of “The Mandalorian” and Pixar’s “Soul.”
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Disney announced Thursday that its flagship streaming service, Disney Plus, hit nearly 95 million subscribers in the first quarter of 2021.
The world’s biggest entertainment company revealed in an earnings report that it gained 21.2 million sign-ups on Disney Plus, hitting 94.9 million subscribers in the first quarter this year ending January 2.
Shares in Disney climbed around 2% in after-hours trading on Thursday.
The streaming service exceeded the company’s goal of reaching 60 million to 90 million subscribers by 2024 in November. Disney aims to have up to 260 million subscribers by 2024.
Since its launch in November 2019, Disney Plus has seen a huge surge in subscribers. The recent boost in the number of people signing up was driven by the release of Pixar’s animated movie “Soul,” as well as the second season of the “Star Wars” spinoff “The Mandalorian.”
The Thursday earnings report doesn’t factor in how many more people would have signed up to Disney Plus after the release of “WandaVision,” its first TV series set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which was released on January 15th.
Two other video streaming services owned by the Walt Disney Company, Hulu and ESPN, also reported a rise in subscribers. Hulu hit 39.4 million, while ESPN has 12.1 million.
Read more: Netflix is the streaming leader, but its US market share shrank in 2020 as competitors like Disney Plus and HBO Max emerged
Disney’s subscriber boom comes a day after Gina Carano, an actress in “The Mandalorian,” was fired after she likened Republicans to Jewish victims of the Holocaust. She also posted controversial content on social media, such as election-related conspiracy theories and jokes about gender-nonconforming pronouns.
Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas later backed Carano, saying: “She played a woman who kicked ass & who girls looked up to.” He added: “Of course Disney cancelled her.”
Disclosure: Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Business Insider’s parent company, Axel Springer, is a Netflix board member.
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