The Walt Disney Company reported earnings for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended October 1, 2022, and revealed a huge subscriber growth at its direct-to-consumer services, which added nearly 57 million subscriptions this year for a total of more than 235 million. “2022 was a strong year for Disney, with some of our best storytelling yet, record results at our Parks, Experiences and Products segment,” said Bob Chapek, Chief Executive Officer at The Walt Disney Company.
Moreover, the group announced the addition of 12.1 million Disney+ subscribers during the period, bringing the platform’s total subscriber base to 164.2 million, higher than the 160.45 million analysts had estimated. “The rapid growth of Disney+ in just three years since launch is a direct result of our strategic decision to invest heavily in creating incredible content and rolling out the service internationally, and we expect our DTC operating losses to narrow going forward and that Disney+ will still achieve profitability in fiscal 2024, assuming we do not see a meaningful shift in the economic climate,” Chapek commented.
At the end of the fiscal fourth quarter, the other two streaming platforms of the company, Hulu and ESPN+, had 47.2 million and 24.3 million subscribers, respectively, exceeding Wall Street expectations by several million. The company has projected having between 300 million and 350 million streaming subscribers by the end of fiscal 2024, so it remains on track to hit those goals.
Financially speaking, the company’s direct-to-consumer revenues for the quarter increased 8% to US$4.9 billion and operating loss increased $0.8 billion to US$1.5 billion. According to the firm, the increase in operating loss was due to a higher loss at Disney+ and a decrease in results at Hulu, partially offset by improved results at ESPN+. Overall, the conglomerate reported a profit of 30 cents a share on revenue of US$20.15 billion.
“By realigning our costs and realizing the benefits of price increases and our Disney+ ad-supported tier coming December 8, we believe we will be on the path to achieve a profitable streaming business that will drive continued growth and generate shareholder value long into the future. And as we embark on Disney’s second century in 2023, I am filled with optimism that this iconic company’s best days still lie ahead,” the CEO of Disney concluded.
● CORPORATE DEMAND SHARE
As The Walt Disney Company reported its last quarter results, Parrot Analytics revealed that the company had the highest corporate demand share with US audiences in the July-October quarter (19.8%), ahead of rivals such as Warner Bros. Discovery (17.9%), Paramount Global (12.4%) and NBCUniversal (9.8%).
The group also boasts impressive demand for its movie catalog despite having the smallest film library among HBO Max, Prime Video, Netflix, and Peacock. However, Disney+ is in eighth place in total on-platform TV demand share, which may speak to the streamer’s comparatively smaller library of TV titles.
Disney+ (8.5%) ranked third in originals demand share in the United States behind Netflix (41.5%) and Prime Video (9.3%). Despite a steady stream of blockbuster franchise series, Disney+’s original demand share has actually fallen from 9.2% in the third quarter of 2021, calling into question the effectiveness of Marvel and Star Wars series as subscription growth drivers for the platform, according to Parrot Analytics.