News, Streaming
Oct 11, 2021

Disney+ to Surpass Netflix in 2025, Hit 284M Subscribers in 2026, Analyst Forecasts

Hold onto your mouse ears, mouseketeers, the streaming wars are heating up and the Mouse House is claiming the number 1 spot.


Image Credit: Walt Disney Studios (Japan)

Are we even surprised? No? But the radical speed at which Disney+ has caught up to their competitors and left them in the dust is all but shock and awe. According to an analyst’s latest forecast, Disney+ will reach more subscribers than Netflix by 2025. It took Netflix over a decade and a half to amass the online platform it has today, but Disney’s brand identity is squashing its hardworking competition. Research firm Digital TV Research shared the prediction in a report, projecting that the number of subscribers to Disney+ would reach 284.2 million in 2026, down from a 294.0 million estimate the firm had made earlier in the year. Netflix will in 2026 have 270.7 million subscribers, down from an earlier estimate of 286.0 million. 

“Three platforms will control nearly half the world’s SVOD subscriptions by 2026,” according to Digital TV Research. “Disney+ will be the biggest winner, overtaking Netflix in 2025. Disney+ will add 140 million subscribers between 2021 and 2026 to bring its total to 284 million. About 121 million of Disney+’ subscribers (43 percent of its total) in 2026 will be in the 13 Asian countries under the Hotstar brand.”

Netflix, which Wall Street Analysts are lauding for their hit content from outside the U.S., such as South Korean original series Squid Game, will add 53 million customers by 2026, “revealing growth even for the most established platform,” while Amazon Prime is projected to hit 243.4 million users. Behind that, it estimates that China’s Tencent will end 2026 with 98.7 million users, China’s iQiyi with 76.8 million and HBO with 76.3 million subscribers. Meanwhile, Apple TV+ will record 35.6 million users then. Although, with the new restrictions on gaming, tv shows, and yes even idol groups rolled out by China that number could hit a drastic plummet, as the Chinese government enforces an iron will on their people even in their own homes. What will the new law rollout do to China’s emerging entertainment market? Well, it could knock it out of the running as a serious competitor on a global market, making way for South Korea, and Japan to emerge victorious on the global streaming wars of the east.