Disney Plus got off to a strong start last year, reaching nearly 20 million U.S. households, according to an estimate by MoffettNathanson and HarrisX. And while it’s safe to assume that many of those users still have cable, services such as Disney Plus are also serving as replacements for pricey pay TV packages.
When asked why they use on-demand services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Disney Plus, more than 50% of cord cutters either said that pay TV had gotten too expensive or that they didn’t watch enough of it to justify the cost. Depending on the service, 14% to 17% of streaming users also said convenience was a factor, and 11% to 15% cited the ability to binge-watch content.
As MoffettNathanson notes, the survey could indicate tough times ahead for live TV streaming services such as YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, FuboTV, and AT&T TV Now, all of which have raised prices over the last year as programmers demand more money for their channels. “In short, these price hikes will likely push even more people towards OTT offerings,” MoffettNathanson’s report says.
One other notable tidbit from the report: While Disney Plus is already a hit, the much-hyped “Disney bundle” of Disney Plus, Hulu, and ESPN+ for $13 per month isn’t doing nearly as well. MoffettNathanson and HarrisX found that only 6% of Disney Plus subscribers are bundling all three services together. Given that Hulu has offered lots of discounted subscriptions and Spotify bundles over the past couple of years, Disney Plus subscribers may not be seeing the value of ESPN’s cable channel leftovers just yet.