Disney+ recorded a massive boost in subscribers following the release of Marvel’s Loki and Pixar’s Luca on its platform. Its subscribers doubled to 116 million subscribers from 57.5 million a year earlier. The OTT streaming platform reported a total of 174 million subscribers.
Both Netflix and Disney Plus have struggled to maintain their white-hot growth after they and other streaming options surged in popularity in 2020 when people around the world were stuck at home and desperate for distraction in the COVID-19 lockdown. These subscriber slowdowns also suggest intensifying competition. A flood of new streaming services may be crimping their individual growth as customers pick from a wider menu of possibilities.
Analysts, as per CNBC, remain optimistic that Disney Plus will reach its goal of 230 million to 260 million subscribers by 2024, as the company continues to roll out exclusive content. Consumers, however, are on average paying less. The average monthly revenue per paid subscriber for Disney+ fell to $4.16 from $4.62 a year earlier. Revenues climbed 45% during the entertainment giant’s most recent financial quarter and Disney swung back into profitability for the three-month period ending June. It was a sign that the family-friendly conglomerate, which makes its business trading in a signature mix of fancy and whimsy, is starting to shake off the all-too-real impact of the COVID-19 economic slowdown. Revenues hit $17 billion, up from $11.8 billion in the year ago quarter, while Disney posted a profit of $995 million (80 cents per share). That compared favorably with the loss of $4.8 billion or $2.62 per share that the company logged in the year-ago period.
Disney Plus had earlier on proved to be the standout success of the so-called streaming wars, a period when seemingly every major media company and some tech ones, rolled out their own streaming-video services. Disney Plus’ growth has far outstripped that of all the new competitors from Apple, HBO, NBCUniversal, Discovery and others. Analysts have described Disney Plus as one of the greatest product launches of all time.
It should be noted that most of the movies that Disney has released lately, such as Cruella and Raya and the Last Dragon, simultaneously debuted on Disney Premiere Access, which is the rental platform it operates on its Disney Plus streaming service. The streaming platform has also been keeping an eye on the global health crisis – COVID-19 pandemic. The delta variant threatens to undue much of Hollywood’s comeback, the travel and leisure sector that provides the core of Disney’s profits.