The arrival of Hamilton seems to be having the intended effect on Disney+, according to one new piece of data from the weekend.
According to numbers out Monday from research firm Apptopia, from July 3 through July 5, the Disney+ app was downloaded 513,323 times globally and 266,084 times in the U.S. The global tally was 47% higher than the average over the prior four weekends during June, and in the U.S. downloads rose 72% above the prior levels.
The worldwide figures exclude India and Japan because Disney+ is packaged with pre-existing apps in those countries. The other, bigger caveat is that the numbers only reflect mobile downloads via the Apple and Android app stores, meaning a large swath of viewership on connected devices or smart-TVs is not counted. Disney, like other companies mounting streaming services recently, did a series of distribution deals with various partners, ensuring that Disney+ could be seen in living rooms as well as on mobile devices.
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The new version of Hamilton, which captures 2016 performances of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical by its original Broadway cast, was originally slated for theatrical release in the fall of 2021. With the operating environment of 2020 altered by COVID-19 and racial unrest, Disney decided to reposition the film on Disney+.
When it reported quarterly earnings in May, Disney said Disney+ had reached 54.5 million global subscribers through the first week of May. Ahead of the July 3 bow of Hamilton, Disney had discontinued free trials of Disney+ but continues to bundle it with the basic tier of Hulu and ESPN+.
The company is set to reveal new streaming stats, along with full quarterly financial results, in early August. Streaming has been one of the lone bright spots during a grueling stretch for the company, which has been buffeted by the loss of theme parks, live sports and theatrical movie releasing.
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