If you haven’t opened your Disney Plus app since The Mandalorian ended in December 2019, you’re not alone.
It wasn’t long after The Mandalorian’s first season ended that op-eds and tweetstorms started to appear decrying Disney Plus as an empty wasteland. Sure, The Simpsons was available to stream, but when it came to opening the app daily trying to find something new to watch, many people (without kids begging to watch Frozen 2 over and over again) weren’t impressed. Data from third-party firms, including Reelgood and 7Park Data, shows that while The Mandalorian was a guaranteed hit, Disney Plus has dwindled in interest since January. The streamer has also failed to continuously crack Nielsen’s Top 10 weekly streaming rankings in the United States, which are mostly dominated by shows and films on Netflix.
The looming question is: does it matter? Disney Plus has seen unprecedented growth over the last year, boasting more than 60 million subscribers — a number Disney executives told investors and analysts they planned to reach by 2024. The Disney Plus bundle, which gives people ESPN Plus and Hulu for $13 a month, has also helped Disney’s streaming services reach more than 100 million subscribers around the world. The company’s direct-to-consumer planning is paying off faster than executives thought possible, leading to a public reorganization that prioritizes streaming and major shareholders asking Disney to invest even more.