Disney shares jump as Disney+ subscriptions pass 50 million

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Disney announced on Wednesday that Disney+, its new video service, now has more than 50 million subscribers. That’s almost twice as many as Disney reported on February 4, when it said in its Q1 earnings that Disney+ reached 26.5 million subscribers during the quarter.

At the time, former CEO Bob Iger said that about 20% of those subscribers came through a distribution partnership with Verizon. Disney+ is offered for free to some Verizon customers for a year.

Shares of Disney jumped as much as 7% on the news in after-hours trading.

Disney+ rolled out in the U.K, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria and Switzerland in the past two weeks, the company said. It also launched in India last week.

But, people who are stuck at home around the globe due to lockdowns related to coronavirus have also spending more time online. Verizon’s web traffic spiked 20% in a single week, for example. On March 31, Nielsen said that streaming viewership jumped 22% during the week of March 16 versus the prior week. According to that report, most people spend their time streaming Netflix.

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