In a move that will surely have competitor Netflix sweating, The Walt Disney Company has announced that they added 7.9 million subscribers to Disney+ in the first quarter of 2022 and as a result have exceed 205 million total subscriptions across all of their paid-streaming platforms (Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+, etc). According to a press release the company’s revenue grew 23%. Earlier this year when announcing their own quarterly earnings, Netflix revealed that they’d lost some 200k subscribers, a major flip after previously forecasting 2.5 million additions for the quarter (a large part of their decrease was due to ceasing operations in Russia).
“Our strong results in the second quarter, including fantastic performance at our domestic parks and continued growth of our streaming services-with 7.9 million Disney+ subscribers added in the quarter and total subscriptions across all our DTC offerings exceeding 205 million-once again proved that we are in a league of our own,” said Bob Chapek, Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “As we look ahead to Disney’s second century, I am confident we will continue to transform entertainment by combining extraordinary storytelling with innovative technology to create an even larger, more connected, and magical Disney universe for families and fans around the world.”
The Walt Disney Company press release reveals that in the US and Canada there are 44.4 million subscribers, up 19% from a year ago; while international subscribers of Disney+ (in markets that do not have Disney+ Hotstar) incresed 39% from 31.1 million subscribers to 43.2 million. Disney+ Hotstar subscribers increased 42% year over year from 35.2 million to over 50 million. In total, Disney+ has 137.7 million subscribers worldwide.
“The growth of the platform since its launch reinforces its unique nature,” Chapek said during the company’s quarterly call. “Quite simply, we believe Disney+ is one of a kind. A service based on exceptional branded content with wide appeal across all four quadrants is certainly popular with families. But as a reminder, almost half of Disney+ subscribers are adults without kids in recognition of Disney+ his unique ability to attract viewers from a range of demographic groups were selectively enhancing Disney+, with general entertainment titles designed to drive signups amongst specific audiences and deepen engagement amongst those cohorts. A benefit of our incredible creative engines and decades of general entertainment excellence is that we can reach these demographics not only through the creation of original titles, but also by shifting resources from across our content ecosystem, especially as consumer behavior continues to evolve.”
Disney revealed that despite revenues for their Direct-to-Consumer brands increasing 23% to $4.9 billion, operating loss also increased, leaping from $600 million to $900 million. They attributed this to ” higher losses at Disney+ and ESPN+ and lower operating income at Hulu,” noting that Disney+ losses were the result of “higher programming and production, marketing and technology costs, partially offset by an increase in subscription revenue.”