Disney+ App Downloaded 16 Million Times in March: Report

The apparently strong European launch of Disney+ is one small bright spot for a company that's been hit hard by coronavirus.
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From the looks of it, Disney+ is off to a strong start both in the U.S. and Europe. 

The Disney+ app was downloaded 16 million times in March, according to the mobile data and insights firm App Annie. That included 11.3 million downloads in Europe between March 24 and March 31, the first week it was available. 

Disney  (DIS) - Get Report shares closed 2.06% higher on Thursday at $96.97.

Disney+, Disney's $5.99 per month streaming service, launched in 8 European markets in March and received 5 million downloads on the first day, according to App Annie. It is also slated to launch in India in April. 

Disney told investors at the beginning of February that Disney had racked up 28.6 million paid subscribers. The company is targeting between 60 million and 90 million subscribers by the end of fiscal 2024. 

Numerous streaming, video chat and gaming apps have seen a spike in demand as millions of consumers stay home. 

"Companies are adapting to this desire for more content from home during the coronavirus pandemic— movie theaters are releasing movies currently in theaters available to stream at home and Disney released Frozen II early on Disney+ and Rise of Skywalker early to digital rental," said Lexi Sydow, market insights manager at App Annie. 

Disney is one of many companies hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic. 

The media company announced furloughs on Thursday, telling employees that it would send many employees whose jobs "aren't necessary at this time" home. Those employees will keep their benefits, but forgo pay through the furloughs, which are effective April 19. Disney employed 223,000 people worldwide as of September 2019.

All Disney theme parks worldwide are closed at least through April, and Disney cruises have also been suspended in the pandemic. The company has also delayed major film openings. 

Year to date, Disney shares have fallen 35%.