Ignoring concerns about a slowdown in the streaming industry, Walt Disney added 14.4 million new subscribers to its Disney Plus service in the third quarter, pushing its total paid streaming customers to 221 million — slightly more than Netflix.
But following the recent loss of the rights to stream IPL cricket in India, Disney lowered its long-term guidance for its total number of Disney Plus subscribers. Total subscribers won’t reach 260 million by 2024, and company officials now expect Disney Plus to reach 245 million.
Perhaps most importantly for investors, however, Disney is sticking to its goal of being profitable on its Disney Plus streaming service by 2024. While Wall Street once cheered Disney and its rivals for spending heavily on new streaming content to attract new subscribers, investors are now focusing on how the company will turn a profit.
To help make that happen, Disney said Wednesday that it will raise U.S. prices for its streaming services, including Hulu and ESPN, later this year. The price increase will go into effect when it launches an ad-supported version of its streaming service in December. Netflix also announced plans for an ad-supported service to attract more cost-conscious consumers.
The new details come as Disney reported strong third-quarter results, driven in part by a surge in visitor numbers at its theme parks in the U.S. and Paris, which remained above pre-pandemic levels despite rising inflation. .
Disney Chief Executive Bob Chapek said part of the reason for the park’s strong performance was “pent-up demand,” but added that the rebound was “more likely than a short-term rebound from the pandemic.” resilient and durable”.