Disney stocks reached a new high today after research firm Apptopia issued a report estimating the company’s streaming service Disney+ has reached over 15.5 million downloads and generated $5 million through in-app purchases.
The day after the launch of Disney+ in the U.S., Canada and the Netherlands, Disney announced it had drawn 10 million sign-ups a different number than actual paid subscribers. (Apptopia’s estimate that day was 3.2 app downloads, which it said was consistent with the usual mobile vs. living room dynamics.) Even so, the number exceeded all estimates and powered the stock to a then-record $150 a share. It closed Tuesday’s trading day at $151.57, up more than 1% for the day on above-average volume, pulling back in the final hour of the session along with the broader market.
After the company released the 10 million figure, Disney emphasized that it would only be disclosing Disney+ statistics during quarterly earnings calls. The company’s next call is likely to be held next February.
Separately, the “continue watching” feature that it had disabled upon experiencing widespread glitches in the early hours after launch has been uploaded again to fan excitement.
A distribution deal with Verizon (giving the wireless company’s subscribers a free year of Disney+), pre-sales that launched at D23 and bundling with Hulu and ESPN+ all contributed to the 10 million downloads. Google on Monday said it was offering three free months of Disney+ to all customers buying new Chromebooks. Despite all those tailwinds, Apptopia noted that the user base is not treating Disney+ as casual viewing. In its report Monday, the firm counted 25.6 million viewing sessions per day over the prior week. “This is a sign people are highly engaged with the mobile app,” the report said. A free week of Disney+ is being offered, with subscriptions then costing $7 a month.
Despite the fast start for Disney, which is well on its way to exceeding its initial target of 60 million to 90 million subscribers by 2024, rivals do not appear to have been affected. “It appears in the early going that Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and HBO are unaffected by Disney+,” the Apptopia report said. “Looking at U.S. data for these apps (Disney+ is not globally launched yet), we see download and user session trends uninterrupted from their trend lines.”
Netflix stock, which was down a fraction Tuesday, has actually risen 4% since Disney+ launched to reach its highest level since July. Along with Disney, Apple, WarnerMedia and NBCUniversal are in various stages of bringing out major challenges to established streaming players led by Netflix.
Disney+ went live in Australia and New Zealand on November 19 and will launch in the UK and Western Europe at the end of March 2020.