Hollywood news banter: Disney+ reaches 50 million subscribers, Quibi’s launch doesn’t attract so many viewers

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While many of Disney’s businesses have suffered due to the coronavirus pandemic, its new streaming service just hit a major milestone. Disney+ is now up to 50 million subscribers after launching five months ago.  

About 8 million of those subscribers come from Hotstar, an Indian service that packages multiple streamers. A portion of the U.S. subscribers come by way of Verizon, which offers free Disney+ to certain customers. 

Still, the Disney+ numbers are huge, and likely bolstered by parents looking to entertain kids stuck at home. Disney made the movies “Frozen 2” and “Onward” available on Disney+ earlier than they typically would. In addition to new movies, Disney+ offers an extensive library of content that few other streamers can rival. 

Meanwhile, another streaming service entered the market recently. Quibi, the project of Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, launched on April 6. 

Quibi offers short-form programming that can only be watched on a phone. It was designed to be viewed on the subway, and whenever people have a few minutes to kill.

Analysts are wondering: Now that people are stuck inside, will they still opt to watch on their phones? Quibi had about 300,000 sign-ups in its first few days. Its founders hope that number will grow as word gets out that the service is offering an extended free trial period of 90 days. 




Kim Masters


Kaitlin Parker