Disney said more than 10m people have signed up to its new streaming service, only a day after its launch, boosting shares in the largest media group in the world.
The company did not specify how many of these people were signing up to free trials, but the number was viewed as impressive and higher than Wall Street analysts had expected.
Daniel Ives, analyst at Wedbush Securities, called the figures “jaw-dropping”.
“This speaks to the 1-2 punch of success that Iger and Disney have coming out of the gate,” he said, noting that its “unmatched content . . . makes the House of Mouse a legitimate streaming competitor on day one to Netflix”.
Shares in Disney jumped 4.7 per cent in afternoon trade in New York, while Netflix stock dropped 2.8 per cent.
Disney chief Bob Iger has bet the company’s future on an expensive gamble on streaming, investing billions in content and technology to beef up a new service that it hopes will make it a large player in the market dominated by Netflix.
Disney+ offers a library content anchored by the company’s popular franchises: Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar and Disney. Disney has also been working to make fresh shows that will tantalise fans, including The Mandalorian, a Star Wars spin-off series that cost $100m to make.
The service is priced relatively cheaply: at $7 a month, it is less than half the price of a standard Netflix subscription. In an effort to juice subscriptions, Disney also struck a partnership with Verizon, the dominant US phone provider, which offers a free year of Disney+ to customers of its unlimited data mobile plans.
Disney said it would not release further updates on streaming subscriptions outside of earnings results.