Between Friday 3rd and Sunday 5th July, Disney+ was downloaded 513,323 times globally. Downloads were over 46% higher than normal. The huge surge in demand was driven by the release of Broadway musical Hamilton. The release comes more than a year before it was meant to hit cinemas.

The release of Hamilton is a clever move by the company, showing it can adapt to the changes enforced by Covid-19. Disney+ has been a bright spot in an otherwise dire situation for Walt Disney amid Covid-19.

Hamilton release leads to surge in app downloads

Between Friday and Sunday the Disney+ app saw a substantial increase in downloads. It was downloaded 513,323 times globally, including 266,084 in the US. Global downloads were over 46% higher than the four previous weeks, while US downloads were up 72%.

While Disney has not released official viewership figures, the uptick in demand is being linked to the release of Broadway musical Hamilton. The musical was a huge hit on Broadway earning Tony Awards, a Pulitzer Prize, and Kennedy Center Honors.

Disney has struggled in the pandemic but Disney+ is a bright spot

Walt Disney has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. Movie production and releases have been postponed, theme parks closed, and sporting events scheduled to be shown on ESPN cancelled.

In the company’s first quarter, losses attributed to Covid-19 across all Disney’s operations were estimated to be as much as $1.4 billion. Losses are continuing in the second quarter.

In contrast, Disney+ grew its subscriber base to 50 million and increased its quarterly revenue from $1.1 billion to $4.1 billion. While this was only the second quarter that the streaming service existed in, the results are promising.

Swift action shows Disney is adapting to the pandemic

With the release of Hamilton iDisney has implemented swift action, demonstrating that it is well placed to ride out the pandemic. Earlier in 2020, Disney signed a deal to release Hamilton in cinemas in 2021. However, as the pandemic crippled the box office, Disney has strengthened its Disney+ offering. The release of the Broadway musical was highly anticipated, which is reflected in the download numbers.

The challenge remains for Disney+ to maintain these subscribers. With a documentary confirmed to be coming to the streaming service featuring the original Hamilton cast, the company is well placed to do just that.

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