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Streamers See Huge Subscriber Gains as Viewers Seek Out Indoor Entertainment

Tyler Hersko

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Major streaming services are enjoying an influx of new subscribers as more film and television consumers continue looking for ways to pass the time during the current global pandemic.

Forbes reports that Disney+ is reaping particularly strong gains. Signups at the House of Mouse’s popular streaming service more than tripled between March 14 and March 16, compared to the same period from the week prior. The publication’s report was based on data from streaming analytics firm Antenna.

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While Antenna’s data was based on a three-day window, the numbers nonetheless indicate that Disney+ is continuing to enjoy strong success despite the coronavirus’ destabilizing impact on the film and television industries. The company announced the service, which will release Season 2 of its “The Mandalorian” tentpole in October, had 28.6 million subscribers as of February 3.

Netflix also enjoyed a 47 percent boost in subscribers during the March 14-16 window, according to Forbes’ report. HBO Now and Showtime also saw significant gains of 90 percent and 78 percent, respectively.

While the gains at HBO Now and Showtime were especially large, Antenna’s data for those services included free trials and Forbes notes that those services have higher churn than Netflix or Disney+. An Antenna spokesperson confirmed to IndieWire that data for the other streaming services also included free trials.

Apple TV+ saw a 10 percent bump in new subscribers, the smallest of the bunch. Other streaming services, such as Hulu and CBS All Access, were not included in the report.

Time will tell if the subscribers gain hold for the aforementioned services. The streaming industry is about to become more competitive than ever before given that WarnerMedia’s HBO Max and NBCUniversal’s Peacock are still scheduled to launch in May and June, respectively. Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman’s Quibi is also gearing up for its April 6 launch.

IndieWire recently spoke to several analysts about the state of the television industry amid the public health crisis. One expert noted Disney would likely be hit especially hard by the outbreak due to its significant investments in theme parks and cruise lines. Disney announced earlier today that Disneyland and Walt Disney World would be indefinitely closed; the parks had initially only planned to close throughout March.

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