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April 8, 2020, 5:44 p.m. EDT

Disney+ paid subscribers jump past 50 million

Walt Disney Co. (NYS:DIS) on Wednesday said paid subscriptions to its Disney+ streaming service soared past 50 million. The service, launched in November, previously was at 28 million but has surged with the closure of schools and shelter in place edicts for millions of people because of the coronavirus pandemic. "We're truly humbled that Disney+ is resonating with millions around the globe, and believe this bodes well for our continued expansion throughout Western Europe and into Japan and all of Latin America later this year," said Kevin Mayer, chairman of Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer & International. Disney+ was rolled out in eight Western European countries including the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, and Switzerland in the past two weeks. Disney shares are up 4% in extended trading Wednesday but down 14% in the last year. The broader S&P 500 index (S&P:SPX) is down 5% in the last year.

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