The fall hasn’t been a good time for Disney’s streaming service. Disney+ added just 2.1 million subscribers in its fourth quarter, giving it a grand total of just 118.1 million customers. That is in line with the company’s cautious estimate of “low single-digit millions” and 60 percent more total customers than a year before, but well below what was expected by many.
Disney’s streaming-oriented Direct-to-Consumer division also lost $630 million ($374 million a year earlier) due in part to extra spending on production, marketing and “technology costs.” These were expected of course in order to grow. The point is that Disney+ isn’t yet a positive for Disney two years after launch. During an earnings call, company chief Bob Chapek remained confident the company would hit subscriber targets (over 230 million users by September 2024) and turn a profit soon.
Disney+ did have a relatively quiet summer for shows, with series like What If…? and Monsters at Work carrying most of the load. The company also streamed two blockbuster movies, Black Widow and Jungle Cruise, but original films weren’t a strong area.
Maybe things will change with Shang-Chi on November 12th, and Hawkeye and The Book of Boba Fett. These could boost subscribers and viewership. We will have to see what happens.
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