Business

Disney+ is coming to Europe earlier than expected

Posted January 21, 2020 10:59 a.m. EST

— Disney fans in parts of Europe will be able to access Disney+ earlier than expected.

The company has bumped up the global launch of Disney+ by a week. It will now roll out in eight countries, including the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, and Switzerland on March 24, the company announced Tuesday. Disney didn't explain why the launch date was moved up from March 31.

The streaming service cost in Europe will be slightly more expensive than the US subscription of $6.99 per month when adjusted for exchange rates. It will cost £5.99 ($7.81) in the United Kingdom and €6.99 ($7.75) per month in European countries. Disney is also selling a yearly subscription for £59.99 ($78.28) or €69.99 ($77.64), respectively.

Other countries, including Belgium, the Nordics and Portugal, will get access to Disney+ in summer 2020. Disney+ launched in the United States, Canada, Australia and in New Zealand in November 2019.

The service quickly attracted 10 million subscribers within the first day of the US launch. Disney expects to have 60 million to 90 million Disney+ subscribers globally by 2025.

The streaming service's international expansion could come at the expense of Netflix. The latter, which has nearly 160 million subscribers worldwide, is releasing earnings after the bell on Tuesday, and will be the first quarter that shows investors if the increasing competition is hurting the company.

Streaming and the integration of programs and distribution is transforming media. Apple is continuing to roll out shows for Apple TV+ and WarnerMedia, CNN's parent company, is launching HBO Max in the spring. And last week, NBC unveiled its new streaming service, Peacock, which will launch in April.

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