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Disney Plus hits 129.8 million subscribers, with growth revving up again

Disney Plus added about 11.7 million net new members in the last three months of the year, after additions in the months before that had slowed to a crawl.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Disney Plus grew to 129.8 million subscribers as of Jan. 1, Disney said Wednesday. That's a 37% jump from a year earlier, but it also means Disney Plus reaccelerated its growth after a slowdown in the fall. Disney added about 11.7 million new members in the three-month fiscal quarter, after it had added only about 2 million subscribers in the three months before that.

By comparison, Netflix, the biggest subscription video service in the world, had 221.8 million global members as of the end of last year. Netflix, though, accumulated its massive subscriber base in the decade-plus since it started streaming. Disney Plus launched a little more than two years ago. 

Disney Plus -- alongside other young streaming services likeHBO Max, Apple TV Plus, Peacock and Discovery Plus and others -- hopes its particular mix of TV shows, movies and originals will lure your attention from cable and streaming stalwarts like Netflix, hooking you on its own vision for TV's future. For you, these so-called streaming wars affect how many services you use -- and, often, must pay for -- to watch your favorite shows and movies online. 

Wednesday, Disney also noted that Hulu subscribers grew to 45.3 million and that ESPN Plus membership rose to 21.3 million. 

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