Disney+ Subscribers & Profit Boom Ahead Of Expectations
In New York, Walt Disney’s new streaming service Disney+ has reached 26.5 million paid subscribers by the end of 2019, surpassing expectations in the competitive and saturated streaming market.
The media company announced the figures as it reported its quarterly earnings that also beat Wall Street forecasts.
The results revealed Disney made a strong entrance into the streaming video wars currently under the dominance of Netflix.
The owner of American sports titan ESPN is also trying to transform its business to capture the attention of audiences that are transitioning online.
Disney+ landed in Australia and New Zealand on 19 November last year but was not expected to become among the top ranked in the field at such a fast rate.
Quarterly earnings rose with the help from additional strong business at Disney’s theme parks alongside the strong performance of the animated film Frozen 2.
Disney analysts at three brokerages had expected more than 20 million subscribers to Disney+ that has now become available in five countries, according to Routers.
Netflix began its streaming services 13 years ago and now boasts of 67.7 million paid subscribers in the US and Canada alone.
Hulu subscribers, a streaming service now controlled by Disney, peaked to 30.4 million, according to the company. ESPN+ customers hit 6.6 million.
Speaking to CNBC, chief executive Bob Iger said 50 per cent of Disney+ subscribers originated from the company’s official website. Iger also said the service did not experience significant growth after the end of Star Wars series The Mandalorian, which is set to return for a second season this October.
Additionally, Disney earned US $1.53 per share, which is above the average analyst estimate of US $1.44, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Revenue also increased to US $20.9 billion, up 36 per cent from a year earlier.
But it was the profits from the movie studio that racked in the highest figure, coming in at US $948 million.