On its fourth-quarter earnings report, the Walt Disney Company announced Thursday that Disney+ has reached 73.7 million paid subscribers as of Oct. 3, while Hulu now has 36.6 million paid subscribers, and ESPN+ has grown to 10.3 million subs.
Hulu added 1.1 million subs since late June and ESPN+ added 1.8 million, but the biggest growth naturally came from Disney+, which added an impressive 16.2 million subscribers.
“Our direct-to-consumer business is key to the future of our company, and on this anniversary of the launch of Disney+ we’re pleased to report that, as of the end of the fourth quarter, the service had more than 73 million paid subscribers — far surpassing our expectations in just its first year,” said Disney CEO Bob Chapek.
While Disney+ still lags behind Netflix, which reached 195 million global subscribers as of last month, the streamer deserves credit for amassing such a large base of subscribers in such a short time. Remember, Netflix had a head start of several years, and Disney+ has been short on original content outside of its breakout hit The Mandalorian, though WandaVision is due to premiere in January ahead of a slew of Marvel shows.
Disney+ no doubt saw a boost from the release of Hamilton this past summer, which also saw the debut of Beyonce‘s Black Is King, which was inspired by The Lion King. Chapek also said the studio was “very pleased” with how Mulan performed as a $30 rental on Disney+, hinting that other name-brand movies will likely follow suit.
Pixar’s Soul, however, won’t be one of them, as that animated film will be released next month at no extra cost to Disney+ subscribers as a holiday “gesture.” With Chapek promising to reveal more at Disney’s upcoming investor day on Dec. 10, there were no other bombshells, though we did learn that Disneyland isn’t expected to reopen anytime soon. For more details on Soul, click here.