- Analysts at Wells Fargo forecasted in a February 18 note that Disney Plus could add 6 million subscribers in India in fiscal year 2020.
- By comparison, Wells Fargo estimates that Netflix has 4 million subscribers in India today.
- The estimates are based on its analysis of third-party market share data as well as Disney’s regional box office, and offer a sense of what analysts think of Disney Plus’ prospects in India.
- “Subs will show up if they love Disney content,” the note said.
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Wall Street analysts are betting that Disney Plus will be in the pole position in India when it launches in March, thanks to its sister service, Hotstar, and Disney’s existing fanbase there.
Disney Plus could end its 2020 fiscal year with 6 million subscribers, analysts at Wells Fargo forecasted in a February 18 note. Such growth would make Disney Plus larger in India than Netflix is now. Wells Fargo estimates that Netflix, which launched in India in 2016, currently has around 4 million subscribers in the country. The report did not estimate how many India subscribers Netflix could end 2020 with.
Wells Fargo’s estimates are based on its analysis of third-party market share data as well as Disney’s regional box office, and offer a sense of what analysts think of Disney Plus’ prospects in India.
Disney Plus, which has 28.6 million subscribers across the US and a handful of international territories, is due to launch in India on March 29. The region is coveted among streamers, including Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, because of its booming population of smartphone and internet users.
Disney plans to bundle Disney Plus with Hotstar, the streaming service it acquired from Fox, in India. It bumped up the platform’s initially planned May launch to coincide with cricket’s Indian Premier League season, which usually drives a boost in Hotstar’s viewership. Hotstar, which offers free and paid tiers of service, said in April 2019 that it had 300 million monthly active users.
While Hotstar could be a “beachhead” for Disney Plus, as the Wells Fargo note said, the analysts also looked at Disney’s box office in India to determine how many people would be most motivated to pay for the service.
Disney movies bring in less at the box office than they do in other places, like the US or Europe, because of competition from local films and a lower average ticket price, the note said. But the analysts still estimated roughly 12 million unique households watched “Avengers: Endgame,” “The Lion King,” “Frozen 2,” and “Incredibles 2.” Assuming some of households may have watched more than one of those movies, the analysts arrived at 6 million households, which formed the basis of their Disney Plus subscriber estimate.
“Subs will show up if they love Disney content, which gets to the heart of the matter: how many Disney homes are there in India?” the note said. “By ‘Disney home’ we mean parents that routinely put their children in front of the IP, which creates the connection to Disney’s worlds that drives the long-term engagement and monetization the brand is known for.”
Disney has not yet said how much it will charge for Disney Plus in India, but there are expected to be two tiers of service, including one that has originals like “The Mandalorian.”
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