According to Digital TV Research, Disney+ will add 140 million subscribers between 2021 and 2026 to take its total to 271 million. Netflix meanwhile in this period will add 53 million subscribers for a 2026 total of 275 million. The study also estimates that around 102 million Disney+ users, or 38% of the total, will be, in 2026, in 13 Asian countries, under the Hotstar brand.
Simon Murray, the Principal Analyst at Digital TV Research, said: “Our previous forecasts based on June 2021 results estimated that Disney+ would overtake Netflix in 2025. Based on the September 2021 results, we now expect that this will happen in 2027.
“Disney+ only started in six new countries during 2021. Delayed from 2021, Eastern Europe launches will take place in 2022. This is likely to push back the remaining Asian launches to 2023.”
Disney+’s growth will be fuelled by 13 Asian countries where the streamer operates under the Hotstar brand. About 102 million Disney+ subscribers – 38% of the total – in 2026 will be based in Asia.
Overall, five major US-based platforms will control 53% of the world’s 1.7 billion SVOD subscriptions by 2026. This represents a total of 910 million subscribers by 2026 and over 300 million more than the 2021 total of 585 million.
The report also notes that WarnerMedia’s streaming platform, the HBO Max should close this year with 29 million subscribers. By 2026, the amount is expected to rise to 83 million. Already present in Latin America, the service will still be launched in other regions of the world. In 2022, Eastern Europe will have the player. The remaining part of Asia is expected to receive only in 2023.
The war between the streaming platforms only increases every day and the race for subscribers gets fiercer. For now, Netflix, one of the pioneers and greatest services of today, leads the competition. But, it is expected to fall behind in 2027, with Disney+ taking first place.