Deep down, we knew it was going to be Disney. It's always Disney. When Disney announced they were going to make a streaming service, reality started a stopwatch to time how long it would take the house of mouse to swallow its competition whole. Every streaming service tried to put up a fight, but in the end, Disney was too strong. They are, to borrow a phrase from their character Thanos, inevitable.
However, even though their eventual dominance was only a matter of time, I can't imagine anyone would predict that Disney's ascension to the top of the streaming mountain would happen this soon. Even though the platform has a ton of solid content, Disney plus's success is a story of Netflix's failure. For the last few months, Netflix has suffered historic losses in profits and subscribers. Consequently, Disney, through all of its various streaming platforms, now claims to have the largest number of subscriptions in the field.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney now has a total direct-to-consumer subscribe count of 221 million which surpasses Netflix's 220.7 million subscribers, as of July 2022. The Mouse House's total subscriber count includes Disney+'s 152.1M, Hulu's 46.2M and ESPN+'s 22.8M. Disney+ added 14.4 million subscribers during the company's third fiscal quarter while Hulu and ESPN+ added 600 thousand and 500 thousand new subscribers, respectively.
Update: A Netflix spokesperson writes in to challenge the count.
Disney's reported 221M number is for subscriptions not subscribers (the number Netflix reports in our earnings). In the US, Disney has 110M US subscriptions across Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+. So: Households in a bundle for all three Disney services are counted three times (vs. being counted once as a Netflix subscriber); or Households subscribing to ESPN+ and Disney+ separately are counted twice (vs. being counted once as a Netflix subscriber).