The fortunes of streaming services Netflix and Disney+ could not be more different. While the former seems to be on a subscriber losing spree by the quarter along with massive quarterly losses, the latter exceeds analyst expectations by bringing in more new subscribers, and also retaining more than anyone estimated.
If you have not already guessed which is which, here is your answer – Disney’s streaming arm continues to scale new heights as it added 14.4 million new subscribers during the third fiscal quarter for 2022. This brings the total number of subscribers to 152.1 million and beats the 10 million new subscribers estimated by Wall Street analysts.
This is also a year-over-year (YoY) increase of 31%, the Walt Disney Company reported. This increase includes growth in subscribers in all regions – domestic and international – as Disney+ (excluding Disney+ Hotstar) clocked 93.6 million subscribers in the quarter. Disney+ Hotstar, its hugely popular streaming service in India, had the remaining 48.4 million subscribers.
The average monthly revenue per subscriber also rose by 5% YoY to reach $4.35 for the quarter. Disney shares rose by nearly 6% in after-hours trading after the earnings results were announced to reach $112.
Coming to Disney’s other streaming services, we find that both ESPN+ and Hulu clocked growth in their subscriber count for the fiscal quarter. While the former witnessed a YoY rise of 53% to reach 22.8 million subscribers, Hulu ended the quarter with 46.2 million subscribers (a YoY growth of 8%). This means that Disney ended the quarter with 221.1 million direct-to-consumer subscribers, overtaking Netflix, which has 200 million subscribers.
Overall, Disney’s Media and Entertainment Distribution segment saw a healthy YoY growth of 11% to reach $14 billion in revenue, while clocking a 32% fall in its operating income of $1.3 billion. Its DTC segment reined in $5 billion in revenue for the quarter (an annual increase of 19%) and an operating loss of $1 billion.
“We had an excellent quarter, with our world-class creative and business teams powering outstanding performance at our domestic theme parks, big increases in live-sports viewership, and significant subscriber growth at our streaming services. With 14.4 million Disney+ subscribers added in the fiscal third quarter, we now have 221 million total subscriptions across our streaming offerings,” said Bob Chapek, Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company.
“We continue to transform entertainment as we near our second century, with compelling new storytelling across our many platforms and unique immersive physical experiences that exceed guest expectations, all of which are reflected in our strong operating results this quarter,” he said.
Going forward, the company expects to have around 215-245 million Disney+ subscribers by the end of fiscal 2024. This is a drop from its previous guidance of 230-260 million subscribers for Disney+.
In related news, you will have to shell out more bucks if you wish to remain a Disney+ subscriber. Starting December 8 in the US, the ad-free subscription is getting a hike of $3 to cost $10.99 per month. Its upcoming ad-supported tier will cost $7.99 per month.