Disney+ has already amassed 2 million subscribers in Australia at the close of the March quarter, according to new data from Roy Morgan.
The service only entered the Australian market in November 2019 and is now the fourth most subscribed to video streaming platform, surpassing Amazon Prime Video (1.6 million) and YouTuber Premium (1.47 million).
For context, it took Netflix – which is now Australia’s most watched subscription television service with 12.59 million subscribers – six months to amass 2 million subscribers when it launched in 2015.
Although the research only took into account data between January and March, the outbreak of COVID-19 and the uptake of social distancing protocols saw a spike in Australians subscribing to video services at the end of the quarter, according to Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine.
“The growth of subscription television services in Australia sped up in March as the nation entered a period of lockdown. In the year to March 2020 an additional 1.05 million Australians gained access to a subscription television service in their household. This is a larger annual increase than we reported a month ago. In the year to February 2020 the annual increase had been 893,000,” she said.
“The increasing growth in the overall market has been predicted by many as Australians have been confined to their homes over the last two months and these results are the first to back up that prediction.”
And while many have described the SVOD market as overcrowded, Levine said the initial success of Disney+ shows there is enough demand for a host of different services.
“Another facet to this growth in viewership is that different members of the same household are able to have their own subscriptions to different services which they can then share with other householders. As Australians have been ‘locked down’ the ability to share multiple services has increased viewership for different services within the market,” she said.
“The immediate success of Disney Plus provides an example of how new entrants to the market can gain a large share of existing viewers as well as contributing to a growth in the overall market at the same time. Of Disney Plus’ 2 million viewers a large majority of 1.67 million (83%) are already viewers of Netflix and 897,000 (45%) already watch Stan.”
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