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Disney Plus stole 1 million users from Netflix (report)

Disney Plus vs Netflix
(Image credit: Future)

When it comes to the Disney Plus vs Netflix streaming war, it hasn't yet been clear how much of a hurt the new challenger would put a hurt on the existing champ. Turns out, according to a new analyst report, that the house of the mouse did take a notable bite out of big red's subscriber base.

This news comes from the firm Cowen & Co., whose findings were reported by Variety. The outlet notes an estimation that "Disney Plus will result in about 1 million additional U.S. Netflix customers cancelling service for the fourth quarter of 2019." That says "additional" because Netflix is estimated to lose 5.1 million subscribers in the quarter. 

When it comes to that million Netflix users, I could see one of two reasons for people jumping ship. My gut tells me that it's quite simply due to people needing to find out about Baby Yoda, who arrived in The Mandalorian when Netflix didn't have an equally buzzy new original or character (sorry Martin Scorsese). We named Disney Plus one of the best streaming services based on the simplicity of its interface and large library of beloved exclusives.

Cowen & Co. derives these estimates from a census-weighted survey that queried 2,500 U.S. consumers in November. A substantial 21% of those polled said they subscribed to Disney Plus in November, which leads the firm to posit Disney Plus added 24 million subscribers in the month. 

If true, that tally is a huge success story for Disney Plus. Back on Dec. 9, CNBC reported that Credit Suisse raised its estimates for subscribers to 20 million (up from 14.3 million) based on app downloads and Verizon's notes about its success with Disney Plus free-year signups. Cowen analysts estimate that 34% of Disney Plus subscribers are getting the service for free, via the 1-year deal from Verizon.

Those Disney Plus subscribers could easily drop the service once the Star Wars live action series ends its first season on Dec. 27. 

Alternatively, those million could represent the folks who actually limit the money they're willing to spend on streaming media services, and keep track of their monthly payments. The Cowen study posits that ~19.4 million subscribers are using both Netflix and Disney Plus, which would mean ~81% of Disney Plus subscribers are also paying for Netflix.

Disney Plus is live and available either in the pretty-cheap $6.99 standalone package — which nets you the whole Disney vault and The Mandalorian — or with a $12.99 bundle that includes Hulu and ESPN Plus.View Deal