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Disney Plus nears 130m customers, closing the gap with Netflix

Disney+ nears 130m customers, closing the gap with Netflix
(Image credit: Disney)

Disney Plus now has almost 130 million customers, the company has announced. It finished 2021 with 129.8 million paying subscribers, up 11.8 million on the previous quarter.

When Disney Plus launched at the end of 2019, Disney said it hoped to reach between 60 and 90 million customers within four years. Now it has more than doubled the lower part of that estimate in a little over two years.

While it still lags behind Netflix's 222 million subscribers, it's certainly catching up fast. Especially considering Netflix has been in operation for 24 years, and has been offering content to stream since 2007.

In Disney's latest financial report, CEO Bob Chapek said: "This marks the final year of The Walt Disney Company’s first century, and performance like this coupled with our unmatched collection of assets and platforms, creative capabilities, and unique place in the culture give me great confidence we will continue to define entertainment for the next 100 years."

Disney also announced some new content on the horizon. The Star Wars series Obi-Wan Kenobi, which sees Ewan McGregor reprise his role as a young Obi-Wan Kenobi, debuts on Disney Plus on 25th May. The series also sees Hayden Christensen return as Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader, alongside series newcomers Moses Ingram (The Queen's Gambit) and Kumali Nanjiani (Silicon Valley).

It's also bringing back Futurama. The sci-fi animation – created by Matt Groening of The Simpsons fame – will come to Hulu in the US in 2023 and Disney Plus Star internationally.

Before then, subscribers can look forward to Steven Spielberg's West Side Story, which launches on Disney Plus on 2nd March. The film was recently nominated for the Best Picture Oscar.

This week the Disney-owned Pixar released the first trailer for Lightyear, the origin story of the human space ranger who inspired Toy Story's Buzz Lightyear toy. It launches in cinemas on 17th June, but Disney hasn't yet said whether it's an exclusive theatrical release.

MORE:

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14 of the best Disney Plus movies and shows to watch right now

Rivals face off: Amazon Prime Video vs Netflix – which is better?

Joe has been writing about tech for 17 years, first on staff at T3 magazine, then in a freelance capacity for Stuff, The Sunday Times Travel Magazine, Men's Health, GQ, The Mirror, Trusted Reviews, TechRadar and many more (including What Hi-Fi?). His specialities include all things mobile, headphones and speakers that he can't justifying spending money on.