Shares of Disney jumped on Friday following a four-hour-long investor day presentation on Thursday, during which Disney executives unleashed a torrent of announcements, including a slew of upcoming “Star Wars,” Marvel and Pixar series and features, and news that Disney+ had surpassed 86 million subscribers.
The company also said it expects its streaming services - Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ - to have a combined 350 million subscribers in four years. Disney+, which the company forecast to grow to 260 million subscribers by 2024, also will be getting a price hike, up $1 to $7.99 a month.
Disney’s message was clear: From blockbuster movies to limited made-for-TV series to sports and other entertainment, Disney-branded streaming content that will compete with the likes of Netflix (NFLX) - Get Report, AT&T's (T) - Get Report Warner Bros.' HBO and others is on its way.
The other clear message: that Disney’s longer-term view considers peoples’ living rooms as important as the big screen. Investors, analysts and Hollywood have been watching Disney for signs of whether it too might pivot to releasing major titles on its streaming service on the same time as in cinemas, or even forgo theaters outright.