Disney+ Hits a Major Milestone
Subscribers, who now number more than 100 million, can look forward to at least 100 new titles annually.
Chapek stepped into the CEO role in late February 2020—just in time for a global pandemic. "None of us could have imagined how profoundly the virus would change the world and our way of life," he said. "However, once again, we've demonstrated our resiliency during an incredibly challenging period."
In fact, the spread of novel coronavirus was a boon for Disney+, which launched in November 2019 with a library of movies and TV series by Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and National Geographic.
The company last fall underwent a strategic reorganization, prying apart original content creation from distribution and commercialization, allowing Disney to make individual decisions based on whether the next Marvel installment, for instance, will make more money in theaters or on streaming.
"The enormous success of Disney+, which has now surpassed 100 million subscribers, has inspired us to be even more ambitious, and to significantly increase our investment in the development of high-quality content," Chapek said in a statement. "We have an impressive number of new episodic series, feature films, documentaries, and specials coming to the service in the next few years."
Subscribers can look forward to at least 100 new titles annually across Disney's various brands. "Our direct-to-consumer business is the company's top priority, and our robust pipeline of content will continue to feel its growth," according to Chapek.
Trickling out over the next three years, that includes 10 Star Wars-adjacent projects, Disney reboots and sequels; animated series featuring characters from Big Hero 6, Zootopia, The Princess and the Frog, and Moana; a Buzz Lightyear origin story (voiced by Chris Evans); and every Marvel TV show and film you've been waiting for (The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, Loki, Ms. Marvel, Black Widow, Thor: Love and Thunder, Black Panther 2, Blade, Captain Marvel 2_, etc.).
As well as a $1 price hike for US customers and $10 bump in annual membership, expected to go into effect on March 26, the Disney Bundle—featuring Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+—will also see a $1 inflation to $13.99 a month. (Though for an additional $5 each month, you can get ad-free access to Hulu with Disney's new $18.99 streaming bundle.)