Disney Plus Hits 22 Million Mobile App Downloads in First Four Weeks, Researcher Estimates

The Force remains strong with Disney Plus: The streaming service has now had 22 million global downloads of its mobile app in the four-week period since its initial launch, according to new data.

Perhaps even more impressive: Over the past week, Disney Plus has averaged 9.5 million daily active users (84% in the U.S.), according to app-analytics researcher Apptopia. On a per-user basis, Disney Plus has 5.8% longer average session times than Netflix, and 7.8% longer than Amazon Prime Video, per Apptopia.

In the U.S., the Disney Plus app has been ranked No. 1 every day since launch in both the App Store and Google Play store.

Even as Disney Plus roared out of the gate, rival streaming services Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and HBO remain “largely unaffected” in terms of downloads and user engagement, Apptopia said. That supports the notion that the streaming wars aren’t a zero-sum game — as the services mostly do not have overlapping content — and consumers will be happy to subscribe to multiple providers.

One reason Netflix specifically hasn’t been hurt by Disney Plus for now may be because Disney films including popular Marvel titles are still available on Netflix, according to Apptopia’s analysis. “Over the next year or so, as Netflix loses the right to stream these movies, we believe we’ll see more of an impact,” said Apptopia VP of insights and global alliances Adam Blacker.

A big caveat on Apptopia’s estimates: The number of app downloads doesn’t equate to the actual number of active users or subscribers and it’s unknown how many people are actually paying for Disney Plus.

First, Apptopia’s download figures cover only mobile apps, excluding connected-TV apps or direct access through the Disney Plus site. Also note that Disney Plus account holders can download and install multiple apps on several devices: Each account can create up to seven profiles and access up to four simultaneous streams. So, for example, if a primary account holder has the Disney Plus app on their smartphone and also installs it on a kid’s phone, Apptopia counts that as two downloads. (Apptopia does not count app reinstalls on the same device.)

Disney announced that Disney Plus had more than 10 million sign-ups on launch day and in the weeks leading up to it. Disney didn’t say how many of those are on Verizon’s one-year-free giveaway offer for unlimited wireless customers and new Fios and 5G home broadband subs.

Apptopia estimates Disney Plus users streamed about 200 million hours of video on mobile since launch — roughly double that of Amazon Prime Video over the same period and behind Netflix’s approximately 1 billion hours streamed. But again, this needs context: The estimates are only for mobile usage; moreover, Disney Plus is brand new and benefits from high initial interest and binge-viewing of its catalog.

In the first four weeks, Disney Plus generated about $20 million through in-app purchases (after subtracting app store fees), Apptopia estimated. However, this isn’t a significant indicator of Disney Plus’ overall subscriber base given the service’s one-week free trial, the Verizon promo, and the fact that users can sign up and pay for Disney Plus on the web.

Disney Plus is currently available in the U.S. (including Puerto Rico), Canada, the Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand, with launches in the U.K. and Europe set for March 2020. The service appears to have recovered from several technical issues users experienced at launch.

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