It appears the outbreak of Covid-19 has impacted all spheres of life, from education, to healthcare, to culture. The home of Mickey Mouse is no exception.
Forced to shut their theme parks across the world, to postpone their films, and deprived of live sports to broadcast on ESPN, Disney has been offered one silver lining, in a cloud filled situation.
Disney Plus, the latest in a family of streaming services, has met a total of 50 million paid subscribers across the world, a considerable achievement given that the service is only five months old.
Kevin Mayer, the streaming chairman for Disney, said that: “This bodes well for our continued expansion.”
Prior to the introduction of the service in November last year, predictions had indicated that the service would take until 2022 to hit 50 million subscribers.
Put in context, the streaming site Hulu, which is also Disney owned, has taken 13 years to hit 30 million subscribers. Netflix, has 167 million subscribers dating from 2007 onwards.
It is estimated that Disney has lost around $70 billion since the beginning of February. The salaries of executives have been cut by up to 30 per cent, and on 19 April, furloughing will begin for non-essential employees.
The executive chairman of Disney, Robert Iger, said that measures could be introduced to Disney theme parks, including checking temperatures, to help get back to business as soon as possible.
He said: “People will have to feel comfortable that they’re safe, [and] it could come from more scrutiny, more restrictions.
“Just as we now do bag checks for everybody that goes into our parks, it could be that at some point we add a component of that that takes people’s temperatures.”