Disney Plus Hits 5 Million App Downloads in U.K., Europe on Launch Day
Disney Plus zoomed out of gate in Europe and the U.K. on Tuesday, according to third-party data estimates — reflecting pent-up demand for the Mouse House’s streaming service and, perhaps, agita among parents looking for relief amid governmental stay-at-home directives.
On March 24, Disney Plus debuted in the U.K., Ireland, Austria, Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland. In those seven markets, the Disney Plus app was downloaded 5 million times, according to measurement and analytics firm App Annie.
App downloads don’t translate into installations (when the user opens an app for the first time), let alone new subscriber sign-ups, which is the number we actually care about. It’s important to point out that each Disney+ account can house up to seven profiles and access up to four streams. Additionally, App Annie’s data is limited to iOS, Apple TV, Google Play, and Amazon AppStore apps, so any users on Roku, Samsung Smart TVs, or the Disney+ website are not being tracked. So although we know the Disney+ app has been downloaded at least 5 million times, we’ll have to wait until the company’s next earnings call (most likely in May) to see how it’s global expansion is faring. But our hunch is that it’s doing quite well.
Disney+ arrived in the U.K. (where it got its DTC beginnings via DisneyLife) and parts of Europe as people are locked at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And if there’s a single silver lining for Disney in this, it’s that streaming services across the board have seen an uptick in viewership.
Notice we said “a single silver lining”. This is because COVID-19 has halted the production of several Disney originals, which is detrimental considering that originals are one of the key value drivers for the service. And elsewhere around the business: all six of its parks are closed; there are no live sports which are a boon to ESPN and ABC; and as movie theatres are closed, studios such as Disney/Pixar, Marvel, and LucasFilm have had to delay several blockbusters.
And sure, Disney could consider releasing titles straight to Disney+ or even Hulu. But considering the House of Mouse accounted for 40% of the domestic box office last year, you can count on getting out of quarantine much sooner than you can expect Disney to drop exclusive blockbusters on either one of their streaming services.