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Disney+ has surged past 50 million subscribers in five months

Disney+ has seen 75% growth in subscribers since early February.
Disney+ has seen 75% growth in subscribers since early February.
(Disney)

Disney+, the streaming service from Walt Disney Co., has passed 50 million paying subscribers in its first five months, the company said Wednesday.

The service, which costs $6.99 a month, has seen 75% growth in subscribers since early February. At that time, Disney said it had 28.6 million paying customers, mostly in the U.S.

Disney launched its Netflix competitor Nov. 12 with a broad swath of classic films and new shows, such as “The Mandalorian.”

Since then, the service has expanded internationally. In the last two weeks, Disney+ launched in eight Western European countries: Britain, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria and Switzerland.

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Disney did not say how many of the added subscribers were from outside the U.S. However, the company said 8 million of Disney+'s subscribers are in India, where the service is offered in conjunction with the existing Hotstar service.

“We’re truly humbled that Disney+ is resonating with millions around the globe, and believe this bodes well for our continued expansion throughout Western Europe and into Japan and all of Latin America later this year,” said Kevin Mayer, chairman of Disney’s direct-to-consumer and international business.

Across the nation, art-house theaters are setting up ‘virtual cinema’ experiences to stay alive during the coronavirus closures.

Disney+ has been a bright spot for the Burbank entertainment giant in recent weeks as the COVID-19 pandemic has closed theme parks, delayed film productions and forced the company to furlough thousands of workers.

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Since the coronavirus pandemic closed movie theaters in mid-March, Disney has moved its films to streaming on the platform more quickly than originally planned.

Disney put “Frozen 2" on the app three months earlier than expected as theaters closed. Pixar’s “Onward” premiered on Disney+ shortly after its theatrical release was cut short by the shutdowns.

Disney last week said its high-profile live action movie “Artemis Fowl” will bypass theaters and premiere exclusively on the service.

Streamers have been capitalizing on the surge in home viewing fueled by the stay-at-home measures intended to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus.

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Hollywood’s newest streaming service, Quibi, got off to a promising start Monday.

The company, which offers bite-size entertainment and news to mobile phone users, had a surge of downloads in its launch, according to San Francisco app analytics company App Annie.

There were more than 700,000 downloads for the Quibi app for iPhones and Android phones in the U.S. on Monday, making it the most downloaded app that day in the nation, App Annie said.


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