Netflix was once one of the only streaming services in the market. Now a number of competitors have appeared in recent years, including Disney Plus. Unfortunately, it looks like Disney Plus has now suffered a huge loss not long after a controversial move by the platform.
In addition to a vast number of Disney titles, Disney Plus also features hubs for major properties including Marvel and Star Wars. It was expected that the service would only grow with these franchises under its control. As shared by Variety, however, that’s not quite the case.
The publication reveals that Disney Plus actually “lost 1.3 million subscribers in the final quarter of 2023.” This happened at the same time as “a hefty price hike that went into effect last fall, but managed to narrow its streaming business’ losses by $300 million during the October-December period.”
In fact, the publication notes that the platform’s core subscribers, “which include U.S. and Canada customers, as well as international users, excluding the India-based Disney+ Hotstar,” had quite the drop. The numbers “dropped to 111.3 million from the 112.6 million reported in the previous quarter,” as shared by the company’s quarterly earnings results. Though “Disney projects adding between 5.5 million and 6 million subscribers to Disney+ Core by the end of its current quarter, which runs January-March.”
Additionally, the aforementioned India-based Hotstar has “added 700,000 subscribers during the October-December quarter, rising to 38.3 million from the 37.6 million it tallied at the end of September.” The publication notes that this marks “the first growth for Disney+ Hotstar since last year’s mass exodus of 12.5 million subscribers amid a strategy shift to move away from low-margin customers, and the loss of key sports rights in the region.”
Ultimately, Disney claims that “the company is on track to reach profitability in its streaming business by the end of its current fiscal year,” adding that “the above-mentioned $300 million narrowing in losses in Q1 vs. Q4.” This includes a report of $500 million in cost savings for the quarter and that this means the company will be “on track to meet or exceed our $7.5 billion annualized savings target by the end of fiscal 2024.”
As such, while Disney Plus faced a loss of more than 1 million subscribers at the time of raising prices, they’ve managed to save money as a result of their price increases. CEO Bob Iger is confident that their streaming platforms, in addition to other aspects at the company, will all become more profitable as time goes on. We’ll have to wait and see what happens, then, and how this will change Disney Plus in the future.