Are we surprised? No? But the radical speed with which Disney+ has overtaken its competitors and left them in the dust is anything but shock and wonder. According to an analyst’s latest forecast, Disney+ will reach more subscribers than Netflix by 2025. It took Netflix more than a decade and a half to put together the online platform it has today, but Disney’s brand identity is crushing its hard-working competition. Research firm Digital TV Research shared the prediction in a report, predicting that Disney+ subscriber count would reach 284.2 million by 2026, up from an estimate of 294.0 million the company made earlier this year. Netflix will have 270.7 million subscribers by 2026, up from an earlier estimate of 286.7 million.
“Three platforms will control nearly half of the world’s SVOD subscriptions by 2026,” according to Digital TV Research. “Disney+ will be the biggest winner, overtaking Netflix in 2025. Disney+ will add 140 million subscribers between 2021 and 2026 to increase the total to 284 million. Around 121 million Disney+ subscribers (43 percent of the total) will be under the Hotstar brand in the 13 Asian countries by 2026.
Netflix, which Wall Street analysts praise for its hit content from outside the United States, such as the South Korean original series Squid Game, will add 53 million customers by 2026, “showing growth even for the most established platform,” while Amazon Prime is expected to reach 243.4 million users. Behind this, it is estimated that China’s Tencent will close 2026 with 98.7 million users, China’s iQiyi with 76.8 million, and HBO with 76.3 million subscribers. Meanwhile, Apple TV+ will register over 35.6 million users. Although with the new restrictions on gambling, TV shows, and even idol groups introduced from China, this number could hit a drastic basement as the Chinese government imposes an iron will on its people, even in their own homes.
What will the introduction of the new law do to China’s new entertainment market? Well, it could throw it out of business as a serious competitor in a global market that is giving way to South Korea and Japan to emerge victorious from the East’s global streaming wars.