AFTER gaining 28 million new subscribers in the first half of 2020 alone, streaming giant Netflix’s growth slowed down in the third quarter (Q3) of the year after net paid subscribers for the quarter hit 2.2 million according to Spanish analytics service ComprarAcciones.com. Meanwhile Disney’s streaming service, Disney+, has reported that it had 60.5 million subscribers in August.
The 2.2 million subscribers is below Netflix’s forecast of gaining 2.5 million subscribers, while research analyst company FactSet had forecast 3.57 million new paid subscribers.
But this may just be a hiccup as Netflix added 28 million subscribers in the first six months of 2020 alone, in contrast to the 26 million new subscribers it gained for the entire 2019. The jump in subscribers can be attributed to lockdown and stay-at-home orders to keep the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic at bay.
Currently, Netflix’s subscriber count is at 195.15 million with the Asia Pacific region accounting for 46% of the global new subscriber total in the third quarter of 2020. The same region’s revenue grew 66% during the period compared to 22.7% growth, globally, making it the fastest-growing region for the platform.
Netflix’s growth in the region comes after the company grew its slate of original content targeting Japan and India such as The Naked Director from Japan and Sacred Games from India.
For the final quarter of the year, Netflix expects to gain 6 million new subscriptions which will bring the total new subscriptions for 2020 to 34 million, a new record for the company since 2018’s 28.6 million.
Meanwhile, Disney+ subscribers have reached 60 million within the three quarters of the year, a boon for the company whose amusement parks were shuttered this year because of the pandemic. The company also had to pause its live film productions and sports programming for the same reason.
Walt Disney reported that it has added about 30 million subscribers from the end of March to August, according to ComprarAcciones. This is also despite the controversies that surrounded the Disney release of its newest live-action remake Mulan, which included controversial statements made by its main star Liu Yifei supporting the Hong Kong police’s violence against protesters and that some parts of the film were shot in the Xinjiang region of China were Uighurs, a minority, are allegedly abused and brought to “re-education” camps which are viewed by many as concentration camps.
The Disney+ service was launched in November 2019.