Disney+ attracted more than 14 million additional subscribers in the spring of 2022

The spring of 2022 will have been radiant for the streaming platform launched in 2019. Disney+ has, in fact, attracted 14.4 million new subscribers between March and June, bringing its total subscribers to 152 million. This attractiveness reassures a market worried about the risks of saturation of digital services, while the boom linked to the pandemic has come to an end and consumers are faced with high inflation.

In all, all of the Disney Group’s streaming platforms (Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ for sports) now have 221 million subscribers, more than industry veteran Netflix alone, which has seen its number of ‘paid subscribers drop, to 220.67 million at the end of June. To see its subscriber base increase even further, Disney + on Wednesday unveiled a new, cheaper subscription formula with advertising.

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Massive investments that are not yet profitable

The American group Disney, which took more than 6% on the stock market after the closing on Wednesday, over one year, saw its turnover increase by 26% over one year, reaching 21.5 billion dollars (20.83 billion euros) for the third quarter of its staggered fiscal year.

Launched at the end of 2019 as a cannonball on the streaming scene by the group, the Disney+ platform now accounts for more than 45% of American users of streaming services, behind YouTube, Netflix, Amazon and Hulu (which belongs to at Disney), according to figures from market research firm Insider Intelligence.

The group’s theme parks and merchandise have taken full advantage of the resumption of in-person activities as the pandemic loosens its grip on daily life around the world. The segment generated $7.4 billion in revenue, 70% more than a year ago. Disney+ also took off during and after the pandemic, thanks in particular to its huge catalog and its successful franchises.

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But the group’s massive investments are still far from paying off: during the past quarter, Disney’s three streaming platforms widened their net losses by 300 million to 1.1 billion dollars.

“We remain confident that Disney+ will achieve profitability in 2024”said Christine McCarthy, the group’s chief financial officer, during a conference call with analyzes on Wednesday.

It nevertheless revised certain objectives downwards, counting on 215 to 245 million subscribers for Disney + in 2024 (including those of Hotstar, the Indian version of the site), or 15 million less than previously announced.

A cheaper subscription but with advertising

During the current quarter, Bob Chapek, the boss of the American group, intends to bet on new programs to win over new customers, such as She-Hulk. Lawyerthe new series from Marvel Studios, Andora Star Wars series, and the movie Hocus Pocus 2 from Disney. He also promised, during his exchange with analysts, the imminent arrival of a documentary series on BTS, the cult group of South Korean K-pop.

The past quarter has been marked by doubts about the growth of major entertainment platforms, from Netflix to Facebook to video games. Netflix thus lost nearly a million subscribers between March and June, after having already lost some in the first quarter, for the first time in its history.

Beyond new content, the industry veteran and its fierce competitor are now employing different strategies to grow their subscriber base and improve profitability.

Disney + thus unveiled on Wednesday a new subscription formula with advertising, for the United States, at 8 dollars per month, which will be offered from December. The one without advertising will increase to 11 dollars, which is 3 dollars more than currently. Hulu’s prices will go up too.

Netflix, which is preparing a similar option after refusing this less popular solution for years, will also tighten the screw on the side of shared identifiers, which allow many people to access its content without taking out a subscription.

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The World with AFP

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