Disney Plus added nearly 8 million new subscribers as Netflix struggles

Disney added 7.9 million new subscribers to its Disney Plus streaming service in the first three months of 2022, the company said in its second-quarter earnings report on Wednesday. That brings the total to around 87.6 million worldwide, not including the 50.1 million Disney Plus Hotstar subscribers internationally. In the United States and Canada alone, Disney Plus now has 7.1 million more subscribers than a year ago, at 44.4 million.

The company also said subscriber numbers for all of its streaming offerings — including Hulu and ESPN Plus — had grown to more than 205 million, up from the 196.4 million announced in January.

This is better news than Netflix recently. Last month, the streaming company announced that it had lost 200,000 subscribers from the previous quarter, its first drop in more than a decade. It’s also growing faster than HBO and HBO Max, which saw 3 million new subscribers last quarter (with around 77 million total customers, HBO is still a long way behind Disney). It should also be noted that Netflix still has around 222 million subscribers.

Of course, all of these companies do better than CNN Plus, which launched and folded in a matter of weeks.

Disney is also reporting that it’s earning more per Disney Plus subscriber than before, at least in the US. While its average monthly revenue per paid subscriber was $6.01, it now sits at $6.32. Disney says that’s thanks to “an increase in retail prices and a reduction in the number of wholesale subscribers.”

Despite this, Disney Plus is actually losing money for the company at a faster rate than before. Disney says this is due to higher costs for production, advertising and technology. These costs seem unlikely to come down, and a price increase, as Netflix has done, could stunt its subscriber growth. All of this put together makes it clear why Disney is planning to create an ad-supported tier sooner rather than later.

A final note of interest comes at the very top of Disney’s revenue. The company notes that its revenue growth occurred despite forgoing $1 billion in revenue to end a client’s license agreement for film and television content to use the content on its own streaming services. The report doesn’t specify which Disney customers this deal was with, but the company was very clearly willing to take a big hit to get Something on Disney Plus. Variety and The Hollywood Reporter speculated that this could relate to Marvel shows that were on Netflix – before abruptly switching to Disney Plus in March.

Disney did not immediately respond to The edgerequest for details of the agreement.

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