Disney Plus is now available in over 50 new countries and territories
Disney Plus continues its global expansion this week. Variety reports that the service is now live in Greece, Turkey, Poland and a number of other Central European countries as part of a wider rollout over the past two weeks, including 42 new countries and 11 territories across Europe, Africa and West Asia. You can see the full list and local prices here.
For viewers in those countries, that means a slew of Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, and Disney content is coming. (Our recommendation? Enter Ms. Marvel as soon as you can…and maybe wait Moon Knight.) For Disney, it’s another key way to grow its streaming service. Disney Plus has around 87.6 million subscribers – plus an additional 50.1 million who subscribe to Disney Plus Hotstar in India, which is similar but not quite the same – and has grown while Netflix reported a slight decreasing user base in recent months.
Netflix is still setting the bar for the global streaming scale. The company says it’s available in over 190 countries, but Disney is catching up fast. From the start, Disney said it wanted Disney Plus to be a global service, and it certainly has a library full of universally engaging content to make it work.
As Disney continues its relentless global march, however, it’s going to run into many of the same issues that Netflix is facing. Creating content is expensive and difficult; creating content that works in every country on the planet is even more so. Disney has dealt with this many times, of course, most recently with Light year, which was banned by a handful of countries even before its release.
It’s also possible that many people just don’t want to pay for multiple streaming services, especially in less affluent parts of the world, which means that Netflix and Disney Plus are likely to compete even more directly in newer markets. and in development.
By the way, this competition for subscription dollars is one reason why both companies are working on ad-supported plans to bring the price down as much as possible. Disney has announced plans to launch an ad-supported version of Disney Plus in the United States this year and roll it out elsewhere in 2023.
But the most interesting question Disney is about to face is: how many possible streaming subscribers are there actually? Not everyone with an internet connection will pay for a dedicated TV and movie service, not now and potentially never. So far, Netflix pegged the global market at around 220 million. Disney has a bunch of Avengers and Obi-Wan Kenobi to help figure out how high that number can really go.