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Disney+ subscriber growth dips amid streaming slowdown

disney+-subscriber-growth-dips-amid-streaming-slowdown

Disney+ is struggling to maintain subscriber momentum after a successful freshman year. 

The streamer added only 2.1 million subscribers, growing 1.8% from the previous quarter, the Walt Disney Company said during its Q4 earnings report on Thursday. In comparison, Disney+ added 13 million subscribers in Q3.

That brings the total number of Disney+ subscribers to 118.1 million. Meanwhile, ESPN+ reached 17.1 million subscribers, up from 14.9 million last quarter. Hulu’s total subscribers, including both SVOD and Live TV, hit 43.8 million, an increase from Q3’s 39 million subscribers. 

Disney+ has 179 million streaming subscribers in total. 

And Disney+’s average monthly revenue per user slumped 9% year over year to $4.12, due to a growing subscriber base for Disney+ Hotstar subscribers, its international streaming service. Disney’s overall revenue totaled $18.53 billion.

In September, Disney CEO Bob Chapek warned investors that Disney+’s subscriber increase would be only in the “low single-digit millions.” But that’s not stopping the company from investing heavily in streaming.

“We continue to manage our DTC business for the long term, and are confident that our high-quality entertainment and expansion into additional markets worldwide will enable us to further grow our streaming platforms globally,” Chapek said in a statement.

To keep up in the streaming wars, Disney will be “nearly doubling the amount of original content” on Disney+ in 2022 across its Star Wars, Pixar, Marvel, FX and National Geographic brands.

Chapek also has his eyes on international expansion for Disney+, which is currently available in 60 countries and 20 languages. The company’s goal is to expand into 160 countries throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa by 2023. 

Disney still intends to hit 230 million to 260 million Disney+ subscribers by 2024.

Streaming platforms went through a subscriber boom as people spent more time at home during the pandemic. As movie theaters and other social activities resumed, subscriber growth has suffered. 

Netflix reported 4.4 million new subscribers in its Q3 earnings call while HBO Max only reached 1.3 million subscribers. NBCUniversal’s Peacock has continuously declined to share subscriber numbers.

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