The Walt Disney Company’s streaming service Disney+ is preparing to take on the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video head on with launches scheduled for 42 countries in the summer, The Indian Express reported, citing Variety.
Variety said in its report the House of Mouse would extend its streaming service in Europe, West Asia, and Africa. The list of countries where the service will launch include Albania, Andorra, Algeria, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Egypt, Greece, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Montenegro, Morocco, Oman, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, among others.
Launched in 2019, Disney+ has quickly become one of the biggest streaming services in the world with 118.1 million users as of October 2021. Netflix is still the market leader with 221.8 million users, with Amazon Prime Video in second place with 175 million users.
Disney+ is fifth after Chinese streaming services Tencent Video and iQIYI. The latest expansion could see Disney+ getting a huge boost to its subscriber numbers.
In India, Disney+ content is distributed through Disney+ Hotstar following Disney’s acquisition of most properties of 21st Century Fox. It also distributes content from HBO and Showtime.
Disney+, with Disney’s huge and incredibly rich and diverse library of movies and shows from big-name franchises and studios such as National Geographic, Disney Animation, Star Wars, Pixar, and Marvel gives it leg-up against most of its competitors.
Disney+ expanding its territories could put Netflix in further trouble, with the streaming giant already struggling with its India business. Launched in 2016, Netflix remains a distant third in the country, behind Disney+ Hotstar and Amazon Prime Video. Netflix Co-CEO Reed Hastings, during a recent analyst call, also gave vent to his frustrations over the service’s failure to penetrate the Indian market despite recent price cuts.
While Netflix doesn’t offer subscriber figures, a research company recently claimed it to be around 5.5 million, much behind Amazon Prime Video’s 22 million and Disney+ Hotstar’s 46 million.