Report: 2 million Australians watch Disney+

Over 2 million Australians are now viewing Disney+ after only four months, according to new research by Roy Morgan.

By comparison it took Netflix six months from launching in Australia in March 2015 to attract over 2 million viewers.

Overall Netflix has extended its lead as by far the nation’s most watched subscription television service in the March quarter 2020, with 12.59 million Australians having access, an increase of 1,068,000 on a year ago. It is followed by Foxtel (including Kayo Sports) on 4.87 million (+63,000) and Stan on 3.72 million (+953,000).

The small increase in viewership for Foxtel is entirely due to the strong performance of their sports-centric streaming service Kayo Sports which attracted 704,000 viewers by March 2020, up by 530,000 on a year ago.

Disney Plus, which only entered the Australian market in late November 2019, now has over 2 million viewers, placing it in fourth position ahead of Amazon Prime Video on 1.6 million (+1,017,000) and YouTube Premium on 1.47 million (+161,000).

When it comes to multiple subscription television services, Netflix plus Stan is the most popular combination with over 3.4 million Australians having access to both just ahead of Netflix plus Foxtel (3.1 million).

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, January-March 2019, n= 12,339. January-March 2020, n= 10,852.
Base: Australians aged 14+

Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine says, “The growth of subscription television services in Australia sped up in March as the nation entered a period of lockdown. In the year to March 2020 an additional 1.05 million Australians gained access to a subscription television service in their household. This is a larger annual increase than we reported a month ago. In the year to February 2020 the annual increase had been 893,000 (See more detail here).

“The increasing growth in the overall market has been predicted by many as Australians have been confined to their homes over the last two months and these results are the first to back up that prediction.

“Another facet to this growth in viewership is that different members of the same household are able to have their own subscriptions to different services which they can then share with other householders. As Australians have been ‘locked down’ the ability to share multiple services has increased viewership for different services within the market.

“The immediate success of Disney Plus provides an example of how new entrants to the market can gain a large share of existing viewers as well as contributing to a growth in the overall market at the same time. Of Disney Plus’ 2 million viewers a large majority of 1.67 million (83%) are already viewers of Netflix and 897,000 (45%) already watch Stan.

“The latest results show there are millions of Australian households with two, or three, or even more subscription television services. Foxtel’s launch next week of a new cut-price streaming service to go head-to-head against Netflix, Stan and Disney Plus does raise the risk of ‘cannibalising’ Foxtel’s existing revenue streams, but also sets Foxtel up take a share of the growing market of consumers increasingly gravitating towards low-cost services that offer extensive and deep catalogues.”

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, January – March 2020, n= 10,852.
Base: Australians aged 14+.

Margin of Error
The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on
which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.


  1. The point is I should not have to purchase a separate streaming device just to watch Disney Plus. Pana “smart” TV is less then 12 months old and has apps for Netflix Stan and Amazon. Why is Disney missing when other brands have it. Being a wifi TV think you would only have to download it like you download other app.

    • Panasonic has had its own obsolete built in operating system for some years now, it is incompatible with most recent apps. 2019-20 Smart TV’s apart from LG (which has webOS) use Android 9 (once updated) which makes it easier to include apps like Apple+, Amazon Prime, Disney+ etc.
      Having a well built device like AppleTV 4K provides a lot of versatility for future proofing your TV, no matter what make it is.

      • I totally agree, I grew sick and tired of smart tv interfaces, general clumsiness and lack of app support and invested in an AppleTV for $209 it is a perfect add on to any tv, I’m considering a second for the tv in the bedroom…

        • Apologies to Tizen OS users, I forgot and could not edit my comment. I note that Samsung does have a reputation for not providing major software updates, including for its Tizen OS system. Disclosure: I’m not a Samsung TV fan.

      • I agree. I have a 12 year old Panasonic Viera plasma TV(was top of its line). All I have plugged into is Apple TV (4K) and a FTA digi tuner as my TV does not have an MP4 decoder only MP2

  2. OMG its getting to the point where work is getting in the way of viewing subscription television services with so much available I can remember Galaxy when they first started!

  3. TasTVcameraman

    So if you have your Netflix $19.00 and Stan $14.00 and Binge $18.00 (“four screen) ad Prime $7.00 or $5.00 yearly well over $50.00 per month. I tried Stan, when they upped it I dumped them and I have started to try Binge, but probably won’t continue to use it, so I will using Netflix and Prime which I find has the stuff that I like.

  4. Netflix have to keep investing in new content to keep its subscriber rate up where Disney+ has a lot of archive product, which may not be new or fresh but it is mostly popular and nostalgic.
    Over time Disney+ will benefit from it’s brand and decades old movie and show list where Netflix will still be watching its bottom line, streaming companies like HBOmax, NBCUniversal, Warner media and others will be steadily chipping away at Netflix’s bottom line, it could eventually force Netflix into a merger situation. As far as Australian companies are concerned there will be tough times ahead, especially for Foxtel which needs to go global to survive.

  5. I’m most surprised by the fact YouTube Premium has over a million subs, although that’s just from a personal perspective as there is nothing there i am interested in.

    Personally I subscribe to Netflix, Stan, Disney+, Kayo and I’m considering Binge, but just not sure i have any more time to invest in TV haha.

    • Those aren’t subscriber numbers, it’s ‘number of people with a subscription in the household’.
      Foxtel had 2.9 million subscribers (includes Kayo and Foxtel Now) at the end of March. Netflix had 19.8 million subscribers in the Asia Pacific region at 31 March (includes India). Stan had ‘more than 1.8 million subscribers’ as at 31 December.

  6. I’m a bit surprised to see YouTube Premium to have so many users considering they’ve scaled back on premium content, though as a subscriber myself I can tell you that once you experience ad-free YouTube you can never go back.

    • I have a Panasonic TV too. I’m looking at either getting a Chromecast or going down the Apple TV path, once i’m ready to try something like Disney, if Panasonic haven’t provided an update and included the Disney app by then.

      • Pano owner here too.
        As someone who works / lives away from home 5 days a week my solution to making dumb tv’s smart is the new nvidia shield – has all the apps including kayo,disney+ etc.
        4K & HDR,built in Chromecast and you can hook up to wifi or hotspot from your phone.
        I have Netflix and Prime subscriptions, Foxtel at home.

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