Disney Plus Has Fewer YouTube Subscribers Than You’d Expect. Which Streaming Service Has The Least?

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Disney+ should pass 1 million YouTube subscribers this year. How does Disney’s primary streaming service stack up against its competitors? The results may surprise you. It would seem Disney has some work to do if they want to be mainstream popular instead of just a staple to Disnidiots like ourselves.

We’ll start with the rankings in popularity order and then share the services in order of when they launched their YouTube accounts. It makes sense the 3 oldest services have the most subscribers. The other rankings are less predictable.

Most Popular Streaming Service (by YouTube Subscribers)

  1. Netflix (23.2 million)
  2. Hulu (2.04 million)
  3. Prime Video (1.37 million)
  4. HBO Max (1.33 million)
  5. Apple TV Plus (1.07 million)
  6. Disney+ (906,000)
  7. Peacock (496,000)
  8. Paramount+ (435,000)
  9. Discovery+ (119,000)

Our Take

Netflix has so much of a lead that the other services don’t have a chance of catching up. HBO Max is impressive, and rightfully so. Despite its parent company’s influence on our culture, Disney+ is behind both HBO Max and Apple TV+ which launched around the same. Combining Hulu and Disney+‘s totals to 3 million is more along what we would expect from a powerhouse like Disney and a preview of what may be when / if Disney combines their apps.

Disney needs to work on building more popularity for Disney+. Adding more general entertainment and content for adults is a great strategy if they want to catch up to HBO Max. Still seems weird to type that. “Catch up.” Just yesterday JustWatch revealed that HBO Max had passed Disney+ in market share. A shortsighted strategy has left Disney+ losing ground in USA. Even with numerous weekly “series” Disney+ YouTube channel still lags behind HBO Max. We do think Disney+ and HBO Max will both pass Prime Video in the next couple years.

HBO Max will likely pass Prime Video in the next year since Prime isn’t anybody’s “first choice” streaming service. Disney+ will probably pass Amazon’s service and Apple TV Plus because Apple TV Plus doesn’t release a lot of new content.

Peacock and Paramount+ are close at the bottom… just like their services are in market share and subscriber numbers. Peacock’s free tier or Olympics advertisements may have helped them beat Paramount+ so far, but we expect this to be a short-term victory before Peacock sinks to the bottom.

Discovery+ is rock bottom right now, but the service is merging with HBO Max and will eventually be an afterthought.

Streaming Service YouTube Channels (By Launch Date)

1. Prime Video (1.37 million)

Since Feb 6, 2014

2. Netflix (23.3 million)

Since August 13, 2012

3. Hulu (2.04 million)

Since March 12, 2008

4. Paramount+ (435,000)

Since November 12, 2018*

*They repurposed the CBS All Access account which had 2 years of subscribers.

5. Peacock (496,000)

Since May 4, 2020

6. Apple TV Plus (1.07 million)

Since March 25, 2019

7. Disney+ (906K subscribers)

Since August 23, 2019

8. HBO Max (1.33 million)

Since April 21, 2020

9. Discovery+ (119,000)

Since December 21 2020

Drew Ryan is a film, TV, and Disney geek. He has degrees in English, Student Personnel Administration, and Library & Information Science from Lawrence University, Concordia University-Wisconsin, and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Interested in the minutia and licensing of streaming service content, he is always publishing lists, suggestions, and advocating for Disney’s missing library to be added to Disney+. Drew subscribes to Disney+, Hulu, Netflix, HBO Max, and Paramount+. You can find him waxing nostalgic over classic Disney Channel or geeking out over Marvel, CW shows, & Disney on Twitter.