When the Mouse House launched Disney+ and its marquee Star Wars spinoff “The Mandalorian” in November, it racked up a massive 10 million subscribers in its first 24 hours — stunning both Wall Street and Hollywood.
But now Wall Street researchers are predicting that Disney+’s early success is waning, in part because anyone who wanted the service wasted no time signing up for it — leaving little room for growth.
“Disney+ has probably already achieved its peak absolute net adds in the first quarter of its existence,” Bernstein analyst Todd Juenger said in a recent research report. “In other words, there will probably never be another year where Disney+ adds as many subscribers as it did in the first year, or frankly in its first quarter.”
Juenger said he expects Disney+ to hit around 40 million subscribers by the end of the year, or just 12 million above the 28 million it racked up at end of 2019 — even as it readies to launch in Europe in March.
By contrast, online video powerhouse Netflix has added 167 million worldwide subscribers, including over 61 million in the US, since launching in 2010.
Adding to the problem is a dearth of original programming for adults to watch after they’ve binged on “The Mandalorian,” the Disney+ action series that spawned internet sensation “Baby Yoda,” noted LightShed Partners analyst Richard Greenfield.