The number of Disney+ subscribers is forecast to overtake the numbers for Netflix, but not until 2027. By 2026, Disney is forecast to have over 270 million subscribers worldwide, just behind Netflix with 275 million. By then, four services will account for half of all online video subscriptions worldwide.
Netflix has 213 million subscribers worldwide. The number in the United States and Canada has levelled off around 74 million.
The third quarter of 2021 showed slower growth in Disney+ subscribers, adding just 2 million for a total of 118 million.
The latest forecast from Digital TV Research suggests that Disney+ will gain the most subscribers over the longer term, adding 140 million between 2021 and 2026. It is estimated that over 100 million of them will be in 13 Asian countries under the Hotstar brand.
“Our previous forecasts based on June 2021 results estimated that Disney+ would overtake Netflix in 2025,” said Simon Murray, the principal analyst at Digital TV Research, said: Based on the September 2021 results, we now expect that this will happen in 2027.”
“Disney+ only started in six new countries during 2021. Delayed from 2021, the Eastern Europe launches will take place in 2022. This is likely to push back the remaining Asian launches to 2023.”
Amazon is expected to have over 245 million Prime Video subscribers in 2026. HBO Max is forecast to have over 82 million, up from 29 million by the end of 2021.
Disney+, Netflix, Amazon, and HBO Max will account for nearly 875 million subscriptions, out of a forecast 1.7 billion worldwide. Some homes will subscribe to more than one of these services, possibly three or more.
China and the United States will between them account for just under half of all online video subscriptions worldwide.
The SVOD Platform Forecasts report is published by Digital TV Research.