Disney+ is predicted to reach more subscribers than Netflix in 2026. The Disney streaming platform has seen steady growth since debuting a little over a year ago, thanks to shows like The Mandalorian and WandaVision. Netflix is the undisputed leader of the pack in terms of streaming and creating original content over the years. However, price hikes have made their subscription rates a little uneven over the past several years, which is more than likely the same problem that Disney will run into in the near future.
According to Digital TV Research, Disney+ will reach 294 million in 2026, exceeding the 286 million that it estimates Netflix will reach by that same time. While that’s a massive global number, Disney will only take the crown in one overall country, which is India. “Disney+ Hotstar will roll out to 13 Asian countries by 2026. These countries will supply 108 million (37 percent) of the global Disney+ subscriber total, but only $2.62 billion (13 percent) of the platform’s revenues by 2026. Hotstar subscribers pay less than a third of the monthly subscription fee of their U.S. counterpart,” says Digital TV Research’s Simon Murray. India will be the key to Disney+’s success in the next five years, at least according to Murray and Digital TV Research.
Digital TV Research also forecasts that “global revenue for Disney+ will hit $20.76 billion by 2026, half of Netflix’s $39.52 billion.” As of this writing, Disney+ has 86.8 million global subscribers, while Netflix boasts just over 200 million paid subscribers. Disney saw massive growth right out of the gate, thanks to its iconic vault, the Star Wars franchise, National Geographic, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Mandalorian set the tone for what their original programming can look and feel like, which has many people, not just Star Wars fans very excited.
Disney+ has a lot more original Star Wars content on the way, which will likely boost subscriptions in the next few years. Ewan McGregor is set to star in the long-awaited Obi-Wan Kenobi series, and then there’s The Book of Boba Fett, which will debut before the end of the year. That’s just two of many more projects, which isn’t including the MCU shows, which just kicked off with WandaVision. It is believed that The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which debuts next month, will be yet another boost.
As for Netflix, they’re breaking their own streaming records with shows like The Crown and Bridgerton. Plus, they have Stranger Things season 4 on the way, which will likely be massive, just like the previous three seasons. With that being said, it will be interesting to see how the Disney+ and Netflix subscriber rates change in the next few years, as they both roll out more and more original content. The Hollywood Reporter was the first to announce Digital TV Research’s streaming forecasts for 2026.