Please wait...
Please wait...

Disney+ subs hit 129.8 million as data gives key insights into D2C growth

Disney+ orginal series The Book of Boba Fett

Disney+ added 11.8 million subscribers in the first quarter to reach a global total of 129.8 million, beating Wall Street estimates and sending its stock price surging in after-hours trading on Wednesday.

The subscriber additions pushed Disney’s streaming portfolio, which consists of Disney+, Hulu, India’s Disney+ Hotstar and Hulu, to a total of 196.4 million globally.

The new financial filings also saw Disney disclose new information about the growth of its direct-to-consumer business, including how many subscribers it has in North America and the level of quarterly investment in Disney+.

According to the company, Disney+ has 42.9 million subscribers – roughly one-third of its total – in the US and Canada. That’s up by 6.6 million (18%) from the prior year. The company also said that Disney+ and Star+ in Latin American have 41.1 million members and Disney+ Hotstar in India 45.9 million.

The global total of 129.8 million is likely to grow significantly when Disney+ launches in a further 42 countries later this year.

According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Disney spent US$920m on Disney+ programming and production in Q1, up 79% from US$515m the previous year.

Overall, the company reported quarterly revenue of US$21.8bn across all of its operating segments, up from US$16.2bn in the year-ago quarter.

Within its Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution segment, Q1 revenue for linear networks was steady at US$7.7bn compared with the year before. Meanwhile, revenue in its D2C business climbed 34% to US$4.7bn, from US$3.5bn.

Disney also said that the operating loss for D2C increased 27% to US$0.6bn due to higher losses at Disney+, and to a lesser extent ESPN+, partially offset by improved results at Hulu.

The impressive results across the board pleased Wall Street, in stark contrast to the response to Netflix’s Q4 financial results released two weeks before, which saw the streamer’s stock price tank after it narrowly missed its subscriber target and forecast slower growth for the coming quarter.

The financial disclosure sent Netflix’s stock tumbling from around US$600 per share at the turn of the year to around US$412 per share today.

As announced in November, Disney plans to spend around US$33bn in the year ahead on content across originals, licensed content and sports rights, marking an US$8bn increase from the previous year.

“This marks the final year of The Walt Disney Company’s first century and performance like this coupled with our unmatched collection of assets and platforms, creative capabilities and unique place in the culture give me great confidence we will continue to define entertainment for the next 100 years,” said Bob Chapek, CEO of Disney.


Please wait...