With its U.S. subscription revenues alone forecast to surpass $4 billion by 2022, year-old Disney+ and sibling streamer Hulu will enable the Walt Disney Company to nearly match Netflix’s share of the U.S. OTT market, according to eMarketer.
The researcher’s first OTT subscription revenue forecast puts Disney+’s 2020 U.S. subscription revenues at $1.94 billion, or 6.6% of the company’s total U.S. OTT revenues. (The Disney+ and Netflix forecasts include estimated revenues from "free" consumer deals bundled with wireless phone plans.)
Disney+’s U.S. revenues are projected at $2.87 billion in 2021 and $4.23 billion in 2022, thanks in part to a $1 price increase that will add another billion in revenues in each of those years.
As of this year, Disney+ represents 26.5% ($1.94 billion) of Disney’s estimated $7.31 billion in total subscription OTT revenues, while Hulu accounts for 67.6% ($4.9 billion) and ESPN+ accounts for 5.8% ($423,400 million).
And that $7.3 billion contributed mostly by Disney+ and Hulu, which was acquired by Disney in 2019, will make Walt Disney the No. 2 streaming playerin U.S. subscription revenues as of 2020. Netflix’s U.S. subscription revenues for this year are estimated at $10.64 billion (chart above).
By 2022, Walt Disney’s total U.S. OTT revenues are projected to reach $12.36 billion, just behind Netflix’s estimated $12.95 billion.
“Hit shows like The Mandalorian, Disney’s vast library, key distribution deals, and a massive marketing push drove strong initial growth in subscribers,” stated Eric Haggstrom, eMarketer forecasting analyst at Insider Intelligence. “It’s expected to continue to grow off that base as it ramps up content releases and brings some movies straight to the service, instead of a theatrical release, in some cases.”
The forecast also calls for the overall U.S. subscription market to continue rapid growth: up 29.9% in 2021, to $38.15 billion, and up another 19.4% in 2022, to $45.55 billion.
“The subscription streaming landscape continues to expand,” Haggstrom said. “The good news for dominant player Netflix is that while new services like Disney+ have had successful launches, many consumers have been simply stacking services together.”
Here’s eMarketer’s projection of growth in U.S. OTT subscribers, by leading services, as estimated in August 2020: