Netflix & Disney+
After seven consecutive solo wins, Netflix is sharing the glory this year, tying with 2020 runner-up Disney+ for the number-one ranking.
Rapid growth has been key for Disney’s streamer, which has amassed 118 million subscriptions worldwide since launching in 2019, with new users up 60% year over year in 2021. Its growth slowed a bit in Q4 (just 2.1 million members were added, down from 12.6 million in the previous quarter), but the service still expects to reach between 230 million and 260 million total paid subscribers by September 2024, according to Disney’s latest earnings call. By comparison, Netflix is currently sitting at 213 million global subscribers.
Disney plans to spend a projected US$9 billion on local and regional content by 2024, said CEO Bob Chapek on the call. The media giant currently has more than 340 local originals in various stages of development and production across its D2C platforms.
This past year, Disney+ got a jump on commissioning local content through a partnership with creators from across Africa for a 10-part original film anthology called Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire. It also acquired exclusive streaming rights in Latin America to Somos Productions’ musical series @Ginayei (24 x 60 minutes), and held a second round of Launchpad, its shorts incubator for underrepresented directors.
In other accomplishments, Disney+ won 14 Creative Arts Emmys, including three for Marvel’s WandaVision and seven for Lucasfilm’s Star Wars series The Mandalorian.
For its part, Netflix had another record-breaking year in kids and family content, getting 56 Daytime Emmy nominations in kids programming and walking away with 12 awards—the most won by any broadcaster or platform in the kids space. Among its wins, animated series Go! Go! Cory Carson took home three trophies, with two more for Hilda.
Animated features have also been performing well for the streamer; Sony’s The Mitchells vs. The Machines became the platform’s most-watched animated film to date this year, with 53 million household views in the month it launched.
As Netflix looks to stay ahead of the House of Mouse in the streaming wars (and in the battle for the Hot50’s top broadcasting spot), its recent decision to be more transparent with data and measure viewership statistics by total hours watched rather than number of households could go a long way towards
making it happen.