11 NOV 2021

Disney+ growth stalled in the last quarter of the year

The Walt Disney Company confirmed that Disney+ has surpassed the threshold of 118 million subscribers globally, against expectations of 126.2 million. The service has added only 2.1 million subscriptions in the period.

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During its earnings report corresponding to its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended October 2, 2021, The Walt Disney Company confirmed that Disney+ has surpassed the threshold of 118 million subscribers globally, against expectations of 126.2 million. Disney's flagship streaming service has added only 2.1 million subscriptions in the last quarter, far less than some analysts had predicted. As a comparison, its most direct rival in the streaming segment, Netflix, added 4.4 million subscribers between July and September to reach 213.6 million globally, thanks to its hit series "Squid Game".

According to the company, total Direct-to-Consumer revenues for the quarter increased 38% to $4.6 billion and operating loss increased from $0.4 billion to $0.6 billion. The increase in operating loss was due to higher losses at Disney+, and to a lesser extent, ESPN+, partially offset by improved results at Hulu.

Financially speaking, the company reported revenue of $18.53 billion during the period, when Wall Street analysts expected The Walt Disney Company revenue to come in at $18.79 billion. The group also posted earnings per share of 37 cents, when analysts were expecting a per share value of 51 cents.

“This has been a very productive year for The Walt Disney Company, as we’ve made great strides in reopening our businesses while taking meaningful and innovative steps in Direct-to-Consumer and at our Parks, particularly with our popular new Disney Genie and Magic Key offerings,” said Bob Chapek, Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company.

“As we celebrate the two-year anniversary of Disney+, we’re extremely pleased with the success of our streaming business, with 179 million total subscriptions across our DTC portfolio at the end of fiscal 2021 and 60% subscriber growth year-over-year for Disney+. We continue to manage our DTC business for the long-term, and are confident that our high-quality entertainment and expansion into additional markets worldwide will enable us to further grow our streaming platforms globally,”  he added.

●  DISNEY LEADS IN CORPORATE DEMAND SHARE

As Disney reported its latest round of earnings, Parrot Analytics found that despite the downturn in subscriber growth for Disney+, the company remains at or near the top of the industry in many key demand data metrics. For example, The Walt Disney Company is in first place in Corporate Demand Share, while Disney+ is now the second most in-demand platform for original series with US audiences.

In fact, Disney remains far and away the top media conglomerate in the United States when it comes to corporate demand share - a consolidation of original demand where platforms are combined based on their corporate parent to show where audience attention is ultimately going. Disney’s 20.1% share last quarter was well ahead of second place ViacomCBS (13.1%).