Walt Disney shares soared to a record high after the leisure agency stated its new streaming platform, Disney+, had been met with “extraordinary user demand,” reaching 10 million sign in its first day.
The robust performance, which added $18 billion to its market capitalization, seems to determine Disney as a number one player in the streaming wars that pit it in opposition to market leader Netflix, Amazon.com, Prime Video service, Apple’s Apple TV+ and AT&T’s forthcoming HBO Max service.
Combined with Disney’s different streaming platforms – Hulu, which has 26.8 million users, and ESPN+, which serves 3.5 million customers- the firm now serves 40.3 million viewers in the U.S, versus nearly 60 million for Netflix.
Disney shares surged 7.5% to $149 in late-day trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
Disney+, which launched in the U.S., Canada, and the Netherlands on Tuesday, was hit with technical errors that the corporate said had been attributable to higher-than-anticipated demand.
The service comes for $7 monthly and features roughly 500 movies and 7,500 TV episodes from the firm’s deep household entertainment catalog, as well as new programming. A package including ESPN+ and Hulu costs $13.
In April, Disney mentioned it plans to reach 60 million to 90 million Disney+ users around the world by 2024.
In a memo on Wednesday, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives mentioned that at its current pace, Disney might hit that subscriber aim potentially two years prior.
Though Disney’s day-one numbers had been more than 3X the size of some estimates, it was not clear how many of these new clients were from free promotions.