With its streaming platform and the reopening of the parks, Disney exceeds expectations

Disney seduced beyond expectations from April to June, both on streaming platforms and in theme parks, according to results released Thursday, August 12.

The American group has delighted investors with results exceeding their expectations: 17 billion dollars (14.5 billion euros) in turnover and 923 million (786 million euros) in profits from April to June , instead of the net loss of 4.7 billion dollars (4 billion euros) in the same period last year, when the health crisis hit its amusement parks and cruises head-on.

On Wall Street, the title of Disney appreciated by more than 5% during electronic exchanges after the close of the Stock Exchange.

Disney + aims to dethrone Netflix

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Its streaming platform has notably taken off. Disney + now has 116 million subscribers, well beyond market expectations. The streaming service has gained more than 12 million additional subscriptions since the end of March, despite increasing its base monthly price to $ 8 in April.

Analysts were only expecting between 113 and 114 million members. The figure is being monitored closely, to see if the service continues to grow despite the gradual exit from the pandemic, which has largely contributed to its success since its launch in late 2019.

“Now that Disney + has launched in most major markets, the hard work begins. We will have to continue to attract new subscribers while retaining those who have already subscribed ”, underlined Eric Haggstrom of the firm eMarketer. Corn “Disney’s streaming catalog is the biggest competition for Netflix, and Disney + is rapidly gaining ground on the industry leader”.

Not to mention the releases of new titles, such as the television series Loki from Marvel or Pixar’s latest animated film, Luca, during the past quarter.

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“Our platforms are working very well”, welcomed the boss of the firm, Bob Chapek. “We now have 174 million subscriptions in total to Disney +, ESPN + and Hulu, and a lot of new content about to be released”, like the musical West Side Story by Steven Spielberg, whose release has been postponed until December 2021.

Film distribution rethought

$ Two years ago, Disney produced content for theaters and television channels. Now, the entertainment giant has direct access to its audience via streaming and the rooms depend on its goodwill. A phenomenon accelerated by the pandemic and even the Delta variant which is spreading at the moment.

“We had not anticipated, and no one else either, the resurgence of the Covid with the variant, which has a significant impact on the market” of film distribution, admitted Bob Chapek.

Read the report: Disney now relies more on streaming than in theaters

The boss recalled that the group had chosen to prioritize flexibility, to be able “To follow the consumer wherever he goes”. And “When the theaters reopened, there was an immense reluctance from the public to come back”, he insisted.

The film Black widow was released at the same time on Disney + and in theaters, which earned the California firm the lawsuit of star Scarlett Johansson. She accuses Disney of breach of contract that cost her millions of dollars because the online release would have affected box office revenue.

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“Disney’s tactics around theatrical releases will have major consequences for the industry”, commented Third Bridge analyst Joe McCormack. “Experts believe that if they keep releasing the movies the same day in person and on the platform, they could potentially cut the movie theater industry in half. “

Open parks with limited capacity

In the third quarter of its staggered fiscal year, its division “Parks, experiences and derivative products” has finally returned to the green, for the first time since the start of the pandemic, notably thanks to the reopening of Disney stores and the partial lifting of restrictions in theme parks in Florida and California.

Even though they still operate with limited capacities, the activity garnered 4.3 billion dollars (3.6 billion euros) in revenue, compared to 1.1 billion (940 million euros) a year ago. year.

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Because of the Delta variant, Disney had to re-impose the mask on its visitors at the end of July in the closed places of its amusement parks. And Bob Chapek mentioned on the analyst conference call that group bookings are more easily canceled. Corn “Overall, reservations for our parks are well above the level of the past quarter, which was already remarkable. “

The World with AFP