Disney Plus mobile app downloads hit nearly 41M, study says

That doesn't include demand for watching Disney Plus on televisions, which is the main place people stream similar services like Netflix.

Joan E. Solsman Former Senior Reporter
Joan E. Solsman was CNET's senior media reporter, covering the intersection of entertainment and technology. She's reported from locations spanning from Disneyland to Serbian refugee camps, and she previously wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. She bikes to get almost everywhere and has been doored only once.
Expertise Streaming video, film, television and music; virtual, augmented and mixed reality; deep fakes and synthetic media; content moderation and misinformation online Credentials
  • Three Folio Eddie award wins: 2018 science & technology writing (Cartoon bunnies are hacking your brain), 2021 analysis (Deepfakes' election threat isn't what you'd think) and 2022 culture article (Apple's CODA Takes You Into an Inner World of Sign)
Joan E. Solsman
2 min read

Baby Yoda -- officially called The Child -- helped boost the viral popularity of The Mandalorian, Disney Plus' flagship original series at launch. 

Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

Disney Plus was the last year's top-trending Google search term -- and that interest seemed to translate to mobile downloads and spending too. The Disney Plus mobile app was downloaded 40.9 million times across Apple's App Store and the Google Play store for Android, with the vast majority of interest coming from the US, according to a Tuesday report from mobile analytics firm Sensor Tower. 

Disney Plus has generated an estimated $97.2 million in user spending on mobile in its first two months, Sensor Tower said.

That doesn't include any demand for Disney Plus on smart TVs, gaming consoles and devices like Roku and Apple TV, which stream video to televisions. And generally, demand to watch Disney Plus-style programming is highest for TVs, the biggest screens in the house. Similar services, like Netflix and Hulu, routinely say that around two-thirds to three-quarters of their viewing hours happen on TVs. 

Disney Plus is the biggest hit in its biggest country so far: the US. Sensor Tower said 84% of Disney Plus mobile revenue and installs have been in the US in the service's first 60 days. Disney Plus is also live in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands.

Disney's rollout of its service differed from that of many competitors that came before, because it included international markets from the get-go and enjoyed the benefit of streaming subscriptions having already evolved into a popular way to watch. So comparing Disney's launch with predecessors has those big caveats. That said, Sensor Tower noted that HBO Now grossed $23.7 million on mobile during its first 60 days, which coincided with the release of a new season of Game of Thrones. Showtime's streaming service grossed $1.2 million in the comparable timeframe. 

Disney Plus is perhaps the most high-profile example of traditional Hollywood reorienting itself to compete in streaming video against the likes of NetflixAmazon and, most recently, AppleDisney Plus, which launched Nov. 12 for $7 a month, was one of the first in a surge of new streaming services all launching within months of each other, a trend sometimes called the streaming wars