Skip to main content

Disney Plus extends subscriber lead over HBO Max – but Netflix is still top dog

Just days after HBO Max owner Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) lifted the lid on its latest set of streaming results, Disney has followed suit with its own quarterly earnings report

The entertainment giant revealed its flagship streaming property – Disney Plus – attracted a whopping 12.1 million new subscribers between July and September of this year, taking the platform’s global total to 164.2 million. Hulu and ESPN Plus added more paying customers, too, leaving the House of Mouse heading into Christmas with an industry-high pool of 235 million subscribers. 

For comparison, the entire WBD portfolio – which includes HBO, HBO Max and Discovery Plus – currently serves just shy of 95 million subscribers, having only accrued 2.8 million new customers in the previous quarter. Netflix added even fewer subscribers (2.4 million) during the same period, but the streamer’s global count still stands tallest at 223 million. 

Of all the best streaming services, then, Disney Plus continues to grow at the fastest rate. Still, it has some way to go to usurp Netflix – which appears to have bounced back after back-to-back quarters of decline in 2022 – as the industry’s largest platform. 

What’s more, subscriber growth doesn’t automatically equal profit. Despite the rosy reading of its customer numbers, Disney’s fourth-quarter results (the company works to a different fiscal year than Netflix and HBO Max) actually confirmed a year-over-year loss of $1.47 billion. That’s almost double the losses Disney endured in 2021. 

Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi

Obi-Wan Kenobi drove millions of new subscribers to Disney Plus in June. (Image credit: Lucasfilm / Disney)

However, CEO Bob Chapek is confident that Disney Plus will become profitable sooner rather than later – and is rightly proud of how far the streamer has come in such a short space of time. 

“The rapid growth of Disney Plus in just three years since launch is a direct result of our strategic decision to invest heavily in creating incredible content and rolling out the service internationally,” Chapek told investors. “We expect our DTC operating losses to narrow going forward and that Disney Plus will still achieve profitability in fiscal 2024, assuming we do not see a meaningful shift in the economic climate.”

Between June and September 2022, Disney Plus subscribers were treated to a host of new movies and TV shows that evidently buoyed the streamer’s appeal to new customers. In the last three months alone, the likes of Obi-Wan Kenobi, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, Pinocchio, Hocus Pocus 2, and Andor were all released on Disney's streaming platform.

With the company's selection of new Star Wars TV shows, top-tier Marvel movies, and other non-franchise offerings set to grow even more in the years to come, Disney Plus subscribers will be eating well for some time yet.

Ad-ding value

She-Hulk stares at KEVIN, who is off camera, in the Marvel TV show's season finale

Disney Plus' back catalog is one of the best in the business. (Image credit: Marvel Studios/Disney Plus)

Disney anticipates that the imminent launch of an ad-supported subscription tier on Disney Plus will help maintain the streamer’s impressive growth. “By realigning our costs and realizing the benefits of price increases and our Disney Plus ad-supported tier coming December 8, we believe we will be on the path to achieve a profitable streaming business that will drive continued growth and generate shareholder value long into the future,” Chapek said. 

According to the Wall Street Journal, Disney’s new, cheaper subscription package will cap ads at four minutes per hour of content, and restrict ads full stop when young children are watching via the platform’s kid-friendly user profiles. 

That approach follows that of HBO Max, which launched its own cheaper subscription package in June last year to surprising popularity. Netflix also rolled out an ad-supported plan in November 2022, though subscribers have been less-than-complimentary about its early implementation

Evidently, Disney bosses are making all the right moves to ensure that Disney Plus keeps pace with Netflix and continues to leave HBO Max in the dust (on paper, at least). The company’s recent acquisition of the overseas broadcast rights to Doctor Who will only serve to boost its fortunes, too. 

Watch out, Ted Sarandos – the House of Mouse is coming for your crown. 

Source: TechRadar

Popular posts from this blog

Uber Eats exits seven markets, transfers one as part of competitive retooling

Uber Eats is pulling out of a clutch of markets — shuttering its on-demand food offering in the Czech Republic, Egypt, Honduras, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Uruguay and Ukraine. It’s also transferring its Uber Eats business operations in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Careem, its wholly owned ride-hailing subsidiary that’s mostly focused on the Middle East. “Consumers and restaurants using the Uber Eats app in the UAE will be transitioned to the Careem platform in the coming weeks, after which the Uber Eats app will no longer be available,” it writes in a regulatory filing detailing the operational shifts. “These decisions were made as part of the Company’s ongoing strategy to be in first or second position in all Eats markets by leaning into investment in some countries while exiting others,” the filing adds. An Uber spokesman said the changes are not related to the coronavirus pandemic but rather related to an ongoing “strategy of record” for the company to hold a first or s

Keep your Oculus Quest controllers going strong with these batteries

The Touch Controllers for the Oculus Quest 2 ship with one disposable AA battery each, but once those run out of juice, you should invest in the best Oculus Quest 2 replacement batteries to fill in for them. While the Touch Controllers last much longer than the headset's limited battery, it's still wise to invest in some rechargeable batteries or a stack of disposable batteries to stop your VR sessions from getting disrupted. Here are the batteries and chargers we recommend for your Oculus Touch controllers. Best rechargable batteries + charger Panasonic K-KJ55MCA4BA 3 Hour Quick Charger with 4 AA eneloop Rechargeable Batteries Staff Pick These rechargeable batteries store up to 2,000 mAh of power and can be recharged up to 2,100 times. They can be charged completely from dead or partially charged without damaging the energy storage memory. We recommend buying them with the quick charger accessory, which will get your AAs recharged in no time, but you can also purchas

These Android games support Bluetooth controllers and they're better for it

Gaming is simply better with a controller in your hands. Gaming on Android typically requires you to settle for using touchscreen controls. However, some gracious game developers take the time and effort to add support for Bluetooth gamepads— and we love them for it. Since so few games provide this feature, we've taken the time to test and compiled our list of the best games that let you play with the best Bluetooth controller in your hands. We'd also recommend getting a Style Ring or PopSocket which can help prop your phone up at a good angle for gaming. You might recognize some of these games from the best Android games roundup and for good reason. But you're here for the best games with controller support, after all, so here I present to you the best you can find on the Play Store. The games Call of Duty Mobile GRID Autosport Tesla vs Lovecraft Evoland 2 Horizon Chase World Tour Riptide GP: Renegade Modern Combat 5: Blackout GTA: San Andreas Oceanhor

What ancient advice can teach us about AI

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is everywhere. Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant have become indispensable to millions of users. Tesla Autopilot has the potential to change driving forever. And IBM Watson took a new job providing big data solutions to corporations after its first job was in jeopardy. Those are just the most prominent examples. Helpful applications of AI are being deployed in a broad spectrum of industries, but AI also has the potential to be misused. About the author  Jason Egnal is Chief Marketing Officer at Zenfolio . His background spans a variety of industries, including SaaS, AI, Fintech and Consumer Electronics.  Zenfolio, the website builder and photo sharing site , recently introduced technology that applies AI to assist photographers in selecting the best photos from the thousands of shots typically taken during a photo session. The advanced image recognition technology is tremendously powerful and can make photographers more efficient than they ever d