Disney+ And Hulu Subscriptions Explode Over The Past Year

Both Disney and Hulu have massive increases in subscriptions during the pandemic.


Streaming services Disney+ and Hulu both saw massive increases in subscriptions over the past year. As of January 2, Disney+ went from 26.5 million in December 2019 to 94.9 million and Hulu went from 30.4 million to 39.4 million during the same span as people around the globe bunkered down during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Disney+ saw a tremendous growth in its subscriber base between December 28, 2019 and January 2, 2021, nearing 95 million subscribers, according to Disney's Q1 earnings report. This is a 258% increase in people who have signed up for the streaming service over the past year.

Read more: Hulu Price, Plans, and Channels

However, revenue for the service dipped 28% per subscriber over that same time period. The reason for that stems from Disney+ Hotstar, which launched on April 3, 2020 and September 5, 2020 in India and Indonesia, respectively. As explained in the report, the "average monthly revenue per paid subscriber for Disney+ Hotstar is significantly lower than the average monthly revenue per paid subscriber for Disney+ in other markets." These numbers do not take into account Disney+'s Premier Access, in which subscribers could pay a premium to watch Mulan early during Spring 2020. To recoup some of this lost revenue, Disney recently raised the price of Disney Plus, and we’ve got a guide that details the current Disney Plus price, deals, and bundles.

Hulu also saw gains over the past year, with a 30% increase in subscribers to the service and a 25% increase to its Live TV service as well. This resulted in a gain of 26% in monthly revenue per paid subscriber.

The increase in subscribers for both services--outside of the introduction of Disney+ Hotstar to India and Indonesia--is most likely a factor because of people staying at home more over the past year, along with Disney+ original series The Mandalorian Season 2 landing on the platform and Pixar's Soul arriving last Christmas to all subscribers.

Currently, WandaVision is airing on Disney+ with The Falcon and the Winter Soldier coming in March, so subscribers numbers will most likely continue to rise as they approach the 100 million subscriber mark.

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