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Disney+ streaming service hits 50 million users

Disney+ rolled out in India and eight Western European countries in recent weeks - Nick Agro / ©AFP
Disney+ rolled out in India and eight Western European countries in recent weeks - Nick Agro / ©AFP

(AFP)

The Walt Disney Company on Wednesday said its television streaming service has already won 50 million paid subscribers just five months after its launch in the US.

Disney+ rolled out in India and eight Western European countries in recent weeks.

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About eight million of its paid subscriptions are in India, where Disney+ is offered in conjunction with existing Hotstar service.

“We’re truly humbled that Disney+ is resonating with millions around the globe, and believe this bodes well for our continued expansion throughout Western Europe and into Japan and all of Latin America later this year,” direct-to-consumer and international chairman Kevin Mayer said in a release.

The Walt Disney Company last month rolled out Disney+ streaming service in seven European countries, but had reduced bandwidth — and hence reduced output quality — because of the heavy demand on network infrastructure during the coronavirus crisis.

Strict confinement rules are keeping millions of people at home in a bid to curtail the outbreak, effectively providing an enormous captive audience for the US entertainment giant’s contender in the streaming market.

After its US launch last November, Disney+ is now streaming in Austria, Britain, France, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Spain and Switzerland.

Disney is hoping its subscription rate of 6.99 euros a month (ÂŁ5.99 in Britain and $6.99 in the US) will be a small price to pay for in-home access to its blockbuster films and franchises.

It aims to compete with Netflix, Apple and Amazon by leveraging its huge catalogue of Disney animated classics along with its Pixar, Marvel and National Geographic movies — not to mention its wildly successful “Star Wars” franchise.

Leading television streaming service Netflix reported having 167 million subscribers in a quarterly earnings report early this year.

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