Disney surpasses Netflix in subscriber count, raises prices

Walt Disney Co’s total number of subscribers across Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ reached 221.1 million at the end of its fiscal third quarter ended July 2, surpassing Netflix’s recently reported 220.67 million subscriptions.

While Hulu had 46.2 million and ESPN+ had 22.8 million subscribers, Disney+ subscriptions grew 14.4 million to 152.1 million during the quarter, topping analysts’ expectations of 147 million, according to StreetAccount (via CNBC). 

The company said the monthly Disney membership fee will soon increase by 38% to $10.99, and Hulu memberships will also receive a $1 to $2 raise depending on the plan. The changes will take effect starting this December, when the company will launch its new ad-supported tier for $7.99 per month. 

Thanks to its upcoming ad-supported plan and the rising demand for live events, the company recently announced that it has secured $9 billion in ad commitments for fiscal 2022-2023. 

Netflix recently announced a partnership with Microsoft for a similar cheaper subscription plan to lure more users to its platform after losing $1 million users in Q2. Warner Bros is also planning to launch an ad-based, but completely free, subscription offering after merging HBO and Discovery+ into a single platform which will be launched in the US and Latin America next year.

Walt Disney Co reported that its total revenue grew by 26% Y/Y to $21.5 billions during the fiscal third quarter, topping analysts’ projection of $20.96 billion. Its earning per share was $1.09, up 36% from the same period last year. 

For fiscal Q4 2024, the company expects the total number of Disney+ to be in the range of 215-245 million. It previously estimated 230-260 million, but lowered the projection as it has recently lost its streaming rights to India’s top cricket league. 

Written by Maya Robertson

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