No wonder Disney+ had launch issues.
Social video entertainment app TikTok is a monster growth story for 2019, with more than 682.2 million downloads in the year. But even after launching half-way through the quarter, Disney+ had more mobile downloads than TikTok in the U.S.: in fact, more than twice as many.
The top apps by downloads, Q4 2019
And it helps us understand why people reported having issues connecting to Disney+: the service was simply flooded with volume.
The launch of Disney+ in mid-November was unprecedented in the U.S. Its 31 million downloads in Q4 2019 was more than double the total for the next closest app, TikTok.
Even though it launched in mid-November, Disney+ collected a massive 30 million+ installs, according to new data from SensorTower. TikTok, having seen most of its explosive growth earlier in the year, had less than 15 million in October, November, and December.
That led to gross revenue of more than $50 million for Disney, which is 71% of Netflix’s.
It’s important to note, however, that SensorTower can only see revenue on mobile platforms. Netflix has made a concerted effort to avoid the “Apple Tax” — both Apple and Google take a percentage of sales made on their platforms — and move subscriptions off mobile devices and to direct-to-consumer relationships. A significant percentage of Disney revenue is likely also direct.
Globally, SensorTower says, App Store and Google Play downloads reached almost 29 billion in 2019, with about 21 billion of them happening via Google Play.
Interestingly, however, installs on iOS from the App Store grew much faster than installs on Android from Google Play: 7.9% to 3.5% in Q4.
An important note:
Disney+ is winning, but not necessarily at the expense of its competitors.
“Disney+’s launch had an immediate impact on the U.S. SVOD market, grabbing 34% of downloads in Q4 2019,” says SensorTower. “Downloads for SVOD apps excluding Disney+ still grew 12.5% quarter over quarter and 4.7% year over year … this suggests that Disney+ has expanded the video streaming market.”