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Disney+ paid subs hit 103.6 mn, Disney+Hotstar accounts for around $34.5 mn subs

ARPU at Disney+Hotstar was down significantly compared to q1

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KOLKATA: With a higher-than-ever growth of streaming services in the last year, The Walt Disney Co.’s (Disney) direct-to-consumer venture Disney+ has also grown quickly to surpass 100 million subscribers.

Although its overall subscriber addition in q2 has fallen short of the Wall Street expectations, Disney+ paid subscribers have reached 103.6 million subscribers. Disney+Hotstar currently has nearly 34.5 million subscribers.

In the same quarter a year ago, Disney+ had 33.5 million subscribers. Although it has not been able to reach the expected 109 million subscriber base, the growth is indeed fast amid an array of big-ticket rivals. Along with the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, a bunch of new entrants HBO Max, Apple TV+ is also betting big on their streaming services.

“Results at Disney+ were comparable to the prior-year quarter as an increase in subscribers was largely offset by higher programming and production, marketing, and technology costs. The increases in subscribers and costs reflected the ongoing expansion of Disney+ including launches in additional markets,” the earnings press release mentioned.

Disney+ touched the milestone of 100 million subscribers in early March. It indicates the last month of the quarter has seen faster growth compared to the first two months, Disney CFO Christine McCarthy said in the earnings call.

“Between q1-q2, Disney+Hotstar was the strongest contributor to net subscriber addition and made approximately a third of total Disney+ subscriber base as of the end of q2. However, ARPU at Disney+Hotstar was down significantly compared to Q1 due to lower ad revenue as a result of the timing of the IPL cricket matches and impact of Covid in India,” McCarthy added further.

In the quarter, Disney+ reported an ARPU of $3.99 falling 29 per cent over the same quarter of last year. The decline in ARPU has been attributed to Disney+Hotstar as overall Disney+ ARPU excluding it was $5.61. However, the average monthly revenue per paid subscribe for Disney’s other streaming services ESPN+ and Hulu grew slightly.  

Direct-to-Consumer revenues for the quarter increased 59 per cent to $4.0 billion and operating loss decreased from $0.8 billion to $0.3 billion, the company stated. The decrease in operating loss was due to improved results at Hulu, and to a lesser extent, at ESPN+, it added. Overall, the media conglomerate has around 159 million total subscribers across its streaming services as of the end of the q2.

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