Disney’s new ESPN+ streaming service has about 1 million paying subscribers, the company announced Thursday.
The new online sports streaming service launched five months ago, according to Recode.
The service, like ESPN3 and WatchESPN before it, gives customers a chance to watch sports that can't be found on the network’s traditional stations, like Serie A soccer (with Cristiano Ronaldo), college sports and pro baseball games for $5 per month or $50 per year.
- “Reaching 1 million paid subscribers is an important milestone for any video subscription service, but reaching this benchmark in such a short amount of time is an incredible testament to the teams from DTCI and ESPN who have worked tirelessly to bring this product to market and continually improve it since our April launch,” said Kevin Mayer, chairman of direct-to-consumer and international of the Walt Disney Company, in a prepared statement, according to Variety.
- “We’re thrilled so many sports fans have quickly come to love the service," Mayer's statement continued. "The future is bright and we believe growth will continue as we add features, distribution partners and more exclusive content in the coming months.”
How it happened: ESPN+ did convert ESPN Insider subscribers — those who pay for access to more ESPN content — into ESPN+ subscribers, so there is likely some carryover.
However, Disney told Recode that the Insider subscribers represent a minority of the 1 million total subscribers.2 comments on this story
“The vast majority of the 1 million are new subscribers, who’ve signed up for ESPN+ since its launch in April. Adding ESPN Insider to ESPN+ did add some subscribers, but they account for a significant minority of the total,” Disney said in a statement to Recode.
Some context: HBO Now took 10 months to add 800,000 subscribers. The subscription lets customers watch HBO without the hassle of needing a cable TV subscription, according to CNET.
Future: Disney plans to launch its own streaming service to rival Netflix next year. The company hopes to lure people away from cable to pay for content.