The streaming wars are hotting up. Coming on the heels of the news that Netflix growth was slowing, and being punished in the markets, Disney+ reportedly added 11.8 million subscribers worldwide in the last quarter of 2021. This was the October to December calendar year, not the financial year.

The previous quarter, July to September, it managed just 2 million subscribers. This would appear to point to content being king. Disney+ added Hawkeye, Free Guy, Encanto, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and The Book of Boba Fett, plus still have previous Marvel shows and The Mandalorian on the service. Could the people who sign up, binge, then cancel be driving this? With it possible to spend over $100 per month to cover all streaming bases, this type of behavior is becoming increasingly prevalent.

Wait until the service is rammed full of new things you want to see, and then hit it up and binge! Then cancel that bad boy before it auto-renews. Inertia and laziness are not in the equation.

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The tale of the tape shows that the global total number of subscribers to Disney+ now stands at nearly 130 million, with 43 million of them within the United States. Outside the US is showing big growth now as there the Disney+ offering has a bigger library.

Under the star banner, the UK, Europe, and most of the rest of the world get all the Fox and Hulu content all in one place on Disney+. This means you get to experience the absolute delight that is firing up Disney+ to watch Predator, or seeing Pam And Tommy advertised on TV as coming to Disney+.

In the puritan States, it must drive their one-dimensional marketing and brand specialists absolutely mental to know this happens in foreign territories. Everywhere else, users think it’s brilliant and consistently rank Disney+ as their preferred streaming service because of this.

This shakes out pretty well against the competition with Netflix at 222 million, HBO Max at 74 million, Peacock at 54 million, Hulu at 44 million, and Apple TV+ at 20 million.

Amazon reported in the summer that they had passed 200 million, but they don’t publish figures as cleanly and regularly as the others.

Last summer, Vulture performed a market analysis exercise with Parrot Analytics and they pointed to four factors as driving growth – overall size, originals output, critical buzz industry ranking, and momentum. They showed Netflix still king of the hill, but HBO Max surprised everyone by the power of its library and new movie slate.

Streaming Wars

HBO Max content has still; not been made available in many places outside the US due to ongoing licensing contracts with other providers such as Sky in the UK. When these expire, expect HBO Max to push hard outside the US to hunt for growth.

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