Big plus for Disney as it overtakes Netflix for the first time in history

On its latest earnings call yesterday, The Walt Disney Company reported a 26% growth in its third quarter earnings for fiscal 2022. Amongst the headlines was a jump of 14.4m Disney+ subscribers, giving the platform a total of 221 million global subscribers and helping it to edge past Netflix for the first time in history. 

Launched less than three years ago, and helped in part by the streaming boom of the pandemic period, Disney+’s rise to prominence has been as meteoric as the starting shot on Space Mountain.   

“We had an excellent quarter, with our world-class creative and business teams powering outstanding performance at our domestic theme parks, big increases in live-sports viewership, and significant subscriber growth at our streaming services. With 14.4 million Disney+ subscribers added in the fiscal third quarter, we now have 221 million total subscriptions across our streaming offerings,” said Bob Chapek, Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. 

This image: Hutchins
Header image: Aliaksandr

Adstreets back… Alright! 

The company also announced that its ad-supported version of Disney+ will be released on December 8th. At that time, the ad-funded model will take over the current price point of US$7.99 per month, while the ad-free plan will be introduced at $10.99. 

It’s an option that Netflix is also planning to bring in on its own platform at some point next year, and reflects the growing sophistication with which the industry at large is now looking at advertising vs subscription funded content.

Whether on or offline, Disney is sublime

Interesting also from a wider anthropological pov, is the in analysis provided by the company in the ‘Parks, Experiences, and Products’ section of its earnings report: 

‘Disney Parks, Experiences and Products revenues for the quarter increased to $7.4 billion compared to $4.3 billion in the prior-year quarter… Disneyland Paris was open for the entire current quarter compared to 19 days in the prior-year quarter. The decrease at Shanghai Disney Resort was due to the park being open for all of the prior-year quarter but only for 3 days in the current quarter.’

You can read the earnings release in full here, and for those looking for a more in-depth view of the entire global digital subscriptions market – across both reading and streaming – you can find our latest snapshot report here


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