Netflix now has a million fewer subscriptions than rival Disney. While Disney+ has made considerable gains, Netflix is also apidly losing subscribers.
Until now, Netflix has been far and away the biggest streaming service. Since streaming TV and video began, no other service has rivalled it.
But Disney’s results for its third quarter showed that streaming services had overtaken the giant.
Having gained 14.4 million subscribers to its Disney+ the franchise now maintains a 221 million total subscriptions across its streaming offerings.
This is compared to Netlfix’s reported 220.67 million total global subscribers.
It is the first time any competitor has passed the streaming giant on the number of total subscriptions.
But it does not necessarily mean that Netflix has fewer subscribers. If a person is subscribed to two of Disney’s offerings, that will count as two subscriptions, and the company does not divulge how many individuals are signed up to its services.
“We had an excellent quarter, with our world-class creative and business teams powering outstanding performance at our domestic theme parks, big increases in live-sports viewership, and significant subscriber growth at our streaming services,” said Disney chief executive Bob Chapek.
“With 14.4 million Disney+ subscribers added in the fiscal third quarter, we now have 221 million total subscriptions across our streaming offerings.
“We continue to transform entertainment as we near our second century, with compelling new storytelling across our many platforms and unique immersive physical experiences that exceed guest expectations, all of which are reflected in our strong operating results this quarter.”
At the same time, Disney announced that it would be launching a new, ad-supported tier, at the same price that Disney+ is currently offered. Customers who want to avoid ads will have to increase their payments, it announced.
Additional reporting by Press Association