×

Disney Projected to Top 130 Million Online Video Subscribers in 5 Years (Analyst)

Disney could have more than 130 million subscribers across its online video services worldwide by 2024, Morgan Stanley analyst Benjamin Swinburne projected in a note to investors Thursday. The forecast resulted in Disney shares trading up 4.4%, while Netflix shares were down 1%.

In the near term, Swinburne expects Disney to sign up 13 million subscribers by the end of 2020. At that point, Disney could have a total of 50 million subscribers across Disney Plus, Hulu and ESPN Plus.

Swinburne based his projections on Disney’s faster-than-expected international launch plans for its upcoming Disney Plus service. Disney Plus is scheduled to launch in the U.S. in November, and then come to Western Europe in late 2019 and early 2020. Roll-out across the Asia-Pacific region will  begin in late 2019 and continue through 2021, while a launch in Latin America is planned for early 2021.

At the low end, Disney Plus should gain 60-90 million subscribers in 5 years, Swinburne argued, noting that this would only represent 10% of addressable broadband homes, compared to the 25-30% that Netflix has been able to capture. Even with those conservative numbers, Disney Plus could be profitable by 2024, thanks in part to the fact that the company will need to spend less on brand advertising.

Swinburne also addressed concerns that Disney Plus could cannibalize other revenue streams. “While all valid concerns, we believe the market has often overstated the risk and underappreciated the reward of the transition to streaming,” he wrote. “Stepping back and admittedly taking the long view, investing in Disney shares is a play on the durability of its IP.”

However, Swinburne also cautioned that Disney may face some challenges as it shifts key parts of its business to online video. “Disney is not a tech company in its DNA, nor does it have a long history as a direct-to-consumer digital retailer,” he wrote.

Disney shares jumped $6.02 to $141.74 a share on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday. Disney stock hit a record high of $142.35 a share in April following the release of mega-hit “Avengers: Endgame.”

Shares of Netflix declined by $2.13 to $343.43 on the Nasdaq on Thursday.

More Digital

  • Medici TV Show

    Vuulr Online Rights Market Makes Global Expansion at NATPE

    Singapore-based Vuulr, an online content marketplace for film and TV rights, is expanding from regional to global operations. The move was announced ahead of NATPE, one of the oldest face-to-face TV rights markets, this week launching its tenth edition in Miami, Florida (Jan 21-23). The Vuulr platform is free to use for buyers and for [...]

  • Loic Barche on Short 'The Atomic

    Loic Barche on Short 'The Atomic Adventure,' Upcoming Feature Debut 'Feu de Paille'

    “The Atomic Adventure,” a contender in UniFrance’s online MyFrenchFilmFestival, is the third short from Loïc Barché (“Goliath,” “Le Commencement”). Variety talked to the director about the short, and his feature debut “Feu de Paille.” “The Atomic Adventure,” produced by young French outfits Punchline Cinéma and Leonis Productions, is set in 1961 in Algeria, where France [...]

  • The Isle of the Dead

    UniFrance Puts Spotlight on Emerging French VR Sector at Rendez-Vous

    France has a burgeoning eco-system of virtual reality and augmented reality producers, and is one of Europe’s leading VR/AR hubs. The UniFrance Rendez-Vous with French Cinema in Paris, a showcase of French projects that wraps Monday, included a VR/AR showcase, with recent projects demonstrated by Wide Management VR, VRrOOm and Atlas V. UniFrance’s online MyFrenchFilm [...]

  • Blood Oath

    MBC Studios to Launch Arabic TV Series 'Blood Oath,' Written by Britain's Tony Jordan

    MBC Studios, the Saudi-owned production unit of top Middle Eastern free-to-air satellite network MBC Group is set to launch “Blood Oath,” an Arabic crime series written by Britain’s Tony Jordan (“EastEnders,” “Life on Mars”). The announcement comes as Dubai-based MBC Studios, set up in 2018 and headed by former president of NBCUniversal International Peter Smith, is [...]

  • Spirited Away

    Netflix Secures International Rights to Studio Ghibli Animated Films

    The iconic animated features of Japan’s Studio Ghibli will be available in territories outside the U.S., Canada and Japan on Netflix starting in February. The move is a further change of position for the studio which has repeatedly resisted the idea that its beloved cartoons would be released on digital platforms. Netflix, sales agent Wild [...]

  • ‘Drag Race’ Producers Greenlight Two Docu-Series

    ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Producers Greenlight Two Docu-Series for SVOD (EXCLUSIVE)

    “RuPaul’s Drag Race” producer World of Wonder has greenlit two docu-series: “God Shave the Queens!” and an “Untitled Trinity Taylor Pageant Project.” The announcement will be made Sunday at the first-ever DragCon U.K. convention, which is taking place at Olympia, London. “God Shave the Queens!” features the first-ever cast of “RuPaul’s Drag Race UK” and [...]

  • VRrOOm Launching VR Platform for Immersive,

    VRrOOm to Launch VR Platform for Immersive, Multi-User Streaming of Live Events

    French VR company VRrOOm is launching a six degrees of freedom (6-DoF) social VR platform that operates within the VRChat live platform, and enables multiple users to take part in live events, and includes the possibility of real-time photo-realistic representation. Louis Cacciuttolo founded VRrOOm in 2016 after working three years at THX in San Francisco. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content