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Disney's (DIS) Disney+ App Downloads Spike on Mulan's Arrival

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Disney's (DIS - Free Report) live-action remake of Mulan caused Disney+ app downloads to spike this weekend when it debuted on the streaming service after a theatrical release was cancelled in the United States, Canada and New Zealand due to the coronavirus outbreak, per a Bloomberg report.

According to Sensor Tower, downloads of the Disney+ app spiked 68% from Sep 4 through Sep 6, compared to one weekend prior. Moreover, consumer spending on Disney+ also spiked 193% over the same period. This could be attributed to customers paying the $29.99 Premier Access fee to watch the movie.

The $200 million film, Mulan tells the story of a young Chinese woman who decides to disguise herself as a man in order to protect her father from serving in a war that could put his life in danger, harnessing her true potential and strength in the process.

Notably, Mulan is the first Disney-branded film to feature an all-Asian cast and it is the most expensive live-action film with a female director.

Although Hamilton led to an increase of Disney+ app downloads of 79% during the first three days, Mulan’s contribution is also expected to boost customer growth through Premier Access on the streaming service. (Read more: Disney Benefits From Hamilton's Launch on Disney+)

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Disney+’s Solid Content Portfolio to Fend Off Competition

Solid content portfolio of Disney+ is expected to have helped the company gain users during lockdowns amid the pandemic-related physical distancing.

Disney+ is expected to have between 60 million and 90 million subscribers globally by the end of fiscal 2024. However, based on the current coronavirus-driven momentum, Disney+ is expected to surpass the lower end in 2020. Notably, as of Aug 3, Disney+’s subscriber base had already surpassed 60.5 million.

Moreover, the streaming service has been benefiting from this Zacks Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company’s bundle offering that comprises ESPN and Hulu. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Mulan’s success undoubtedly strengthens Disney+’s competitive position in the streaming market currently dominated by Netflix (NFLX - Free Report) and Amazon prime video. Markedly, Disney+’s closest competitor Netflix added 10.09 million paid subscribers globally in its recently reported second-quarter 2020 results.

According to a recent report by Grand View Research, the global video streaming market size was valued at $42.6 billion in 2019 and will witness a CAGR of 20.4% between 2020 and 2027.

Moreover, streaming competition is set to get much more intense with the launch of Comcast’s (CMCSA - Free Report) ad-supported streaming service Peacock and Apple’s (AAPL - Free Report) strengthening Apple TV+ content lineup.

Disney’s release strategy follows Comcast’s Universal Studios, which made its Trolls World Tour film available online in April for a $20 fee.

With a release strategy to test whether streaming subscribers are willing to pay extra fees to purchase content, Disney might continue releasing more of their bigger films on the platform thereby contributing to the top-line growth in the near term. While Jungle Cruise is slated to release on Jul 30, 2021, Marvel Studios' Black Widow will arrive in theaters on Nov 6, 2020, with The Eternals moving to February 12, 2021.

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