Disney’s launch of its premium subscription streaming service Disney+ was not without issues — high demand resulted in content not being accessible for hours on its first day of availability. The company cited higher-than-expected demand as a factor, and now we have a rough estimate of the size of that demand — Disney has revealed that it signed up 10 million users since its Tuesday debut.
That’s a lot of subscribers in a very short period. To put it in perspective, Netflix recently reported 158 million subscribers, but that’s its total audience after many years of availability, across a broad global market. Disney+ is launching only in a few markets around the world, including the U.S., Canada and the Netherlands, while Netflix has grown to cover much of the world. Netflix also started out with much lower subscriber counts when it was U.S.-only, with 7.38 million in 2007, the year it began offering streaming for the first time.
Disney+ has been offering customers in the U.S. the ability to pre-order their accounts for a couple of months, so its subscriber count represents a bit of runway and marketing effort, rather than just pent-up demand. It’s also offering a year of free access to qualifying Verizon subscribers. But that’s still a very impressive debut for a brand new streaming offering, and a firm basis upon which Disney can grow its audience through future releases and marketing efforts.