Over the past few years, we’ve seen every streaming service trying to drastically increase the number of subscribers it has, trying to reach an even larger audience than their competitors.  Though, in last year or so, the shift from having the most amount of subscribers, to being the most profitable streaming service. 

This shift has seen studios change their focus on releasing less new original content, raising prices, trying to combat account sharing and more to try to make sure streaming platforms like Disney+ become profitable.  Some streaming services like Netflix and Max are already profitable, and Disney is looking to make Disney+ profitable by the end of 2024. 

Back at the Investor Day in 2019, Disney forecasted it was aiming to get between 60 million and 90 million subscribers globally by 2024, but after shooting past those numbers very quickly, it moved its target to over 230 million, though it eventually reduced that target.

According to a new report from Digital TV Research, global SVOD subscriptions will grow by around 321 million between 2023 and 2029, with a total of 1.79 billion subscriptions by the end of 2029.

The main areas of growth are in the United States, Brazil and India.  With around 946 million subscribers spread across six United States streaming platforms.

Netflix will continue to be the most popular streaming service and is estimated to grow to around 298 million subscribers by 2029. In comparison, Disney+ is expected to grow its global subscriber numbers to 196 million, which is below Disney’s latest targets.   The estimate is also assuming that Disney+ Hotstar is still operational in India, since Disney has been in negotiations to potentially sell off some assets in India.

Disney+ is estimated to have around 100 million fewer subscribers than Netflix, due to significantly less investment and take-up in the Asia Pacific region.

The second biggest streaming service globally is Amazon Prime Video, with an estimated 269 million subscribers, though it’s always worth noting that those are Amazon Prime members, who also have access to Prime Video, so includes lots of people who just have Prime for free shipping and other bonuses.

Both Paramount, Lionsgate and HBO have been scaling back their plans for a global streaming service, focusing on just offering their services in a limited number of countries.

Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research, said in a statement:

“Platforms now measure their success through their profitability. This means that already-profitable Netflix will benefit more than its US-based competitors”.

Disney+ is still yet to launch in many countries around the world, in many countries across Africa and Asia, so there is still potential subscriber growth there, but as Disney has found with subscribers in India, merely having more people using a service, doesn’t mean they make more money.  Disney, along with many other streaming platforms, are also trying to reduce the amount of account sharing, which has drastically increased subscriber numbers for Netflix.

There are many other ways that Disney+ is trying to boost its subscriber numbers globally, including launching a much cheaper ad-supported tier scheduled to arrive in many countries internationally in 2024 and beyond.  Offering a cheaper alternative is going to encourage more subscribers, but also help maintain existing ones.


In the United States, Disney is also set to complete its purchase of Hulu later this year and will begin with its plans to begin offering Hulu content within Disney+, to match how Disney+ operates internationally, with a likely plan to merge Hulu and Disney+ together in the US.

Disney is also partnering with cable providers like Spectrum to offer an ad-supported tier of Disney+, which will also help maintain and grow subscriber numbers.

Do you think Disney+ will get more than 192 million subscribers globally by 2029?  Let us know on social media!


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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Roger@WhatsOnDisneyPlus.com Twitter: Twitter.com/RogPalmerUK Facebook: Facebook.com/rogpalmeruk

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