Year-In-Review: Disney+ Had Major Highs And Lows In 2021

Disney+, the streaming platform from The Walt Disney Company DIS has made strides in 2021, most of which led to large subscriber gains, the announcement of highly anticipated shows and movies, and some of the highest-rated streaming content of the year. While the overall perception of Disney+ was good this year, Disney did struggle with some things over the past year with the streaming platform.

Since launching in 2019, Disney+ reached over 100 million subscribers in just 16 months, when the company announced the milestone in March 2021. As part of the announcement, Bob Chapek, CEO of The Walt Disney Company, said, “Our direct-to-consumer business is the Company’s top priority, and our robust pipeline of content will continue to fuel its growth.”

Disney’s content has been appointment television for most people, especially those who love Marvel Studios. This year Disney+ dropped some of its most ambitious Marvel content yet, with shows like WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, and Hawkeye. Each of these series will tie into the highly anticipated Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe which includes Black Widow, The Eternals, and the upcoming Spider-Man: No Way Home films.

Fans continue to spend money on the app, with many yearly renewals happening in November, which is when the service launched. In October, Sensor Tower data estimated that the mobile app was estimated to have reached $1.5 billion in global consumer spending. In July, Disney+ saw the most mobile spending in a single month, likely due to content drops like Black Widow, Jungle Cruise, and Loki, the first two of which were already available on the streaming service but as an additional charge through Disney+ Premier Access.

This year, Disney announced that because Disney+ surpassed the subscriber goal the company set, there was a new goal in mind for subscriber counts: 260 million by 2024. That number might be challenging to get to as Disney+ has a steep decline in subscriber growth in the second half of the year. In November, Disney announced that the streaming service had a total of 118.1 million subscribers.

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Disney continues to look forward to 2022, where new original content will drop throughout the year, with a large chunk of it being in July through September. This timing is significant because it’s when most children are out of school and spend countless hours binge-watching TV throughout the day, and Disney is counting on families wanting to watch shows together. Content that will likely bring in return and new subscribers include new Marvel and Star Wars series like Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, Andor, and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

2022 will be bright for Disney+ as long as content flows out to subscribers on a consistent basis, and keeps up the quality in storytelling that Disney is known for.

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