Coronavirus Outbreak: Disney+, Netflix witness surge in subscriptions as US audiences stay home

The coronavirus outbreak may have affected the film and television industry, but has proven beneficial for the streaming platform business.

FP Staff March 29, 2020 11:35:03 IST
Coronavirus Outbreak: Disney+, Netflix witness surge in subscriptions as US audiences stay home

Streaming platforms have seen a rise in subscriptions from their American audience as people look for ways to kill time at home during the current global pandemic.

Forbes cited a report by data analytics firm Antenna, saying that there was an influx of new users on Disney+ between 14 March to 16 March. As schools across America have been declared shut, this period was boosted viewership of family friendly content on the platform.

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The Disney+ logo

IndieWire notes the data collected shows that despite the film and entertainment industry suffering a major blow due to the coronavirus outbreak, Disney+ has emerged as a strong entertainment alternative for homebound audiences. As of 3 February, the company had upto 28.6 million subscribers.

Other services like HBO Now and Showtime also witnessed a similar phenomenon, with subscription soaring to 90 percent and 78 percent, respectively. HBO's parent company Warner Media said that this period has had the highest usage from the audience, writes Verge. The percentage of people binge watching shows has reached 65 percent, while movie watching is 70 percent.

Forbes mentions that in comparison, Netflix's subscription rate only rose to 47 percent in the US. There has been high traffic on Netflix as well, the company's chief content officer Ted Sarandos had told CNN that while they will not reveal the numbers, there has been a significant growth in viewership. Apple TV Plus followed last will only 10 percent increase in new subscribers.

The report adds that there is no guarantee whether the audiences will continue using these services in the long term. Antenna told Forbes that they will analyse user pattern once life returns to normal.

The Disney+ service launched in the United States and Canada for $7 per month and $13 a month for a bundle with ESPN+ and Hulu; it reached 10 million sign-ups on its first day. Apple TV+ launched 1 November for $5 per month and is free for one year with the purchase of some Apple devices. Netflix is available in over 190 countries; its standard US plan costs $13 per month.

 

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