There’s good news for Disney this quarter. And bad news for Disney fans in the near future.
Disney (DIS) has a lot of built-in advantage, as the service is basically the ultimate digital baby sitter, and not signing up for it if young children is basically tantamount to child abuse. (Well, that’s the way some very insistent children like to phrase it.) Disney also has access to the two biggest collections of intellectual property in the game: Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Netflix, on the hand, has been trying to grow its own recognizable brands from scratch, which is a rather difficult endeavor. While it does have “Stranger Things,” it also has a bunch of…stuff, the result of a very haphazard approach to making films and shows.
An analysis by Digital TV Research found that Disney+ is expected to overtake Netflix by 2025, but in a way that’s already happened. Sorta.
Disney Has Officially, Kind Of, Beat Netflix
Disney+ added 14.4 million subscribers during the third fiscal quarter, for a total of 152.1 million. This beat Wall Street analysts’ expectations of 10 million adds.
The company made the announcement ahead of a third-quarter earnings call.
But if you factor in Disney’s three subscription platform, Disney+, the more adult-oriented Hulu, and the sports-center ESPN+, Disney now has 221 million total subscribers. (Three are available together in a discount bundle for $13.99 a month.) This puts it ahead of Netflix’s 220.7 million subscribers, as of July. (Netflix lost a million subscribers between April and July. It’s just been a tough look for them lately.)
Disney+ added roughly 100,000 subscribers in America and Canada to reach 44.5 million, while Disney+’s international subscriptions, excluding Disney+ Hotstar (a popular streaming service in India), grew from 87.6 million to 93.6 million.
Hulu had a total of 46.2 million subscribers, an increase from 45.6 million in the previous quarter, while ESPN+ had 22.8 million subscribers, up from 22.3 million.
And Now For The Bad News
So the subscriber count for Disney’s streaming services is up. You know what else will soon be going up? The cost of all of these streaming services.
Starting on December 8th, Disney+ will cost $10.99 a month, up a whopping 38% from its current price of $7.99. An ad-supported tier at the old $7.99 price point will be introduced later this year.
Sorry, Hulu fans, but the ad-free tier will rise to $14.99 a month, from $12.99, and the cheaper ad-supported version will increase a buck to $7.99. It was previously announced that ESPN would raise from $6.99 to $9.99.
As far as its bundles go, the Hulu and Disney+ package will rise a dollar to $14.99 a month. Disney will also introduce an ad-supported bundle for $9.99 a month. The ad-free bundle of all three services will cost $19.99 a month.
Look, Baby Yoda is very expensive and it just costs a lot to keep him happy.