Disney’s just launched its premium subscription streaming service Disney+ but was not without issues — high demand resulted in content not being accessible for hours on its first day of availability. The company cited higher-than-expected demand as a factor, and now we have a rough estimate of the size of that demand — Disney has revealed that it signed up 10 million users since its Tuesday debut.
That’s a lot of subscribers in a very short period. To put it in perspective, Netflix recently reported 158 million subscribers, but that’s its total audience after many years of availability, across a broad global market. Disney+ is launching only in a few markets around the world, including the U.S., Canada and the Netherlands, while Netflix has grown to cover much of the world. Netflix also started out with much lower subscriber counts when it was U.S.-only, with 7.38 million in 2007, the year it began offering streaming for the first time.
Disney has invested billions in its streaming service, which costs $7 a month or $70 a year after a 7-day free trial. Customers of some Verizon wireless and home-internet plans were offered a year free.
Disney didn’t break down where the subscriptions came from or if they were free or paid monthly or yearly. Some analysts thought it would take Disney a year to reach 10 million subscribers.
Films like “Dumbo,” “The Aristocats,” “Lady and the Tramp” and “Jungle Book,” some of which were made nearly 80 years ago, offer a disclaimer saying,” “This program is presented as originally created. It may contain outdated cultural depictions.” Since its initial release in 1941, “Dumbo” has been criticized for including a version of vocal blackface, while “The Aristocats” and “Peter Pan” have been the subject of scrutiny for racist depictions of characters.
Before such movies plays, another message appears that reads, “The cartoons you are about to see are products of their time. They may depict some of the ethnic and racial prejudices that were commonplace in American society. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. While these cartoons do not represent today’s society, they are being presented as they were originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed.”
The newly launched Disney Plus has no shortage of content, ranging from original animated classics to live-action remakes and “Star Wars” offshoot “The Mandalorian.” With that deep library, Disney is offering a warning that some of the streaming platform’s older content has “outdated cultural depictions.”