Disney+ misses the mark due to slowing subscriber growth

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,761   +141
Staff member
In brief: Disney’s direct-to-consumer division lost $630 million in the quarter. The company pinned much of the blame on higher losses within Disney+, and to a lesser extent, ESPN+, which were partially offset by improved results with Hulu. Disney stock is trading down nearly eight percent on the news.

Disney earlier this week announced a limited-time promotion in which new and returning Disney+ subscribers could lock in a one-month membership for only $1.99. In hindsight, the offer – which is still valid to claim through the end of the coming weekend – was likely a preemptive measure to boost subs in the current quarter.

For the three-month period ending October 2, Disney added just 2.1 million Disney+ subscribers, pushing its total up slightly to 118.1 million. That’s still 60 percent more subscribers than it had at the same point a year ago, but Disney likely isn’t fond of the slowed growth.

CNBC notes that analysts with StreetAccount were expecting 9.4 million new subscribers during the quarter.

ESPN+, meanwhile, finished the quarter with 17.1 million subscribers and Hulu with 43.8 million, annual increases of 66 percent and 20 percent, respectively.

Specifically, Disney+ dealt with higher programming, production, marketing and technology costs. Higher Premier Access revenue from Jungle Cruise and Black Widow, however, helped stem losses.

The entertainment giant is no doubt hoping for a stronger holiday quarter. On a call with investors, Disney CFO Christine McCarthy said this quarter will be the first time in Disney+ history that they plan to release original content through the quarter from Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar and Nat Geo.

Image credit Kenrick Mills

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wiyosaya

Posts: 6,993   +5,510
What keeps me from being a regular subscriber is the limited amount of Disney+ content aimed squarely at adults. While I enjoyed things like "The Mandalorian", the last season of the Clone Wars, and "The Bad Batch" those were all things that I was able to watch within a month. I'm waiting for the next season of each, and then I will subscribe for another month to catch up, and then cancel again. I am also looking forward to the live-action Rebels sequel, but viewing that, too, would fit in a month. If they had a far expanded library, and included things like "The Punisher" "Daredevil", and others, it might be worth maintaining a subscription for me. Otherwise, I'm content just subscribing when they have things my wife and I want to watch.
 
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dangh

Posts: 364   +550
I'm not a fan of Marvell and (new) Star Wars, so I usually get a month of this service a year to make a look at some of the content there.
There is no reason to have something subscribed and not use it 90% of a time. The only subs I do have are spotify (used daily) and Prime (because having prime adds low cost delivery and unlimited photo storage).
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 3,018   +4,862
I'm not a fan of Marvell and (new) Star Wars, so I usually get a month of this service a year to make a look at some of the content there.
There is no reason to have something subscribed and not use it 90% of a time. The only subs I do have are spotify (used daily) and Prime (because having prime adds low cost delivery and unlimited photo storage).
Same. I only keep prime because of my side work and teh number of parts I have to order. Anything else I'll get a free trial with a burner email or buy a single month and binge everything I want.
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 4,020   +2,037
You get more for your money with other platforms like Amazon and even YouTube and gaming service subscriptions are offering quite a bit for the price.

And as said above, there isn't enough flagship content to consume enough of your time to be worth it. I dropped Disney+ real quick after that first free trial. But I also dropped Netflix for Prime, because I'm cheap with some things and Prime offered free shipping. I went with YouTube to get rid of ads on my TV and the music. Netflix is still the best for TV and movies though imo.
 

scavengerspc

Posts: 1,844   +1,881
TechSpot Elite
What keeps me from being a regular subscriber is the limited amount of Disney+ content aimed squarely at adults.
I totally agree. The biggest reasons I keep it is when I get visits from family and friends, the rug rats just want to watch Disney. And also because of the Simpsons.

When it came out, I got it because I already had Hulu and ESPN+ so adding Disney+ just costs something like a dollar more per month for all 3.
 

dob_1

Posts: 83   +47
Apple TV+ has the same problem. Very limited content compared to Netflix. But I have to say we are catching up on seasons of 24 that we didn't watch 20 years ago! That's taking some time on Disney!
 

mctommy

Posts: 406   +137
Been on Disney+ before it even started. I only pre-paid for 3 years for $155 after tax. I'll re-assess the cost when my subscription is up.
 

Dimitrios

Posts: 1,010   +821
Same. I only keep prime because of my side work and teh number of parts I have to order. Anything else I'll get a free trial with a burner email or buy a single month and binge everything I want.

Same here as well. What I love about Amazon the last few months that you can have your stuff shipped an extra day late and you get back $1-$3 that can be used to rent movies or buy them. Prime I get stuff sent the same day! They do show you a new schedule if you don't mind waiting another day and use the money for renting movies. The digital money can't be used on physical items as far as I know.

Amazon video makes NETFLIX look like garbage. I would say most movies are already free because I use the shipping a lot and music. I just started that series THE MAN IN THE CASTLE and binged it non stop in the last few days, LOL I never heard of it until now and it has 4 seasons free.
 

mctommy

Posts: 406   +137
Same here as well. What I love about Amazon the last few months that you can have your stuff shipped an extra day late and you get back $1-$3 that can be used to rent movies or buy them. Prime I get stuff sent the same day! They do show you a new schedule if you don't mind waiting another day and use the money for renting movies. The digital money can't be used on physical items as far as I know.

Amazon video makes NETFLIX look like garbage. I would say most movies are already free because I use the shipping a lot and music. I just started that series THE MAN IN THE CASTLE and binged it non stop in the last few days, LOL I never heard of it until now and it has 4 seasons free.
Agree to disagree on Netflix vs. Amazon. Both have goods and bads.

Amazon videos I like:
- Counterpart (too bad only 2 seasons)
- The boys
- Hanna
- The expanse
- The man in the high castle