Feb 11, 2021 - Economy & Business

Disney's pandemic woes offset by big streaming numbers

s photo illustration, a remote control is seen in front of a television screen showing a Disney + logo on March 28, 2020 in Paris, France.
In this photo illustration, a remote control is seen in front of a television screen showing a Disney + logo. Photo: Illustration by Chesnot/Getty Images

Disney said on Thursday that it now has nearly 95 million subscribers for its streaming service Disney+, blowing past Wall Street expectations for growth for the company's Q1 earnings.

Why it matters: Disney's streaming success has helped the company offset losses from pandemic-related headwinds to its parks & resorts and studios businesses.

By the numbers:

  • Total paid streaming subscribers: 146 million
  • Disney+ subscribers: 94.9 million
  • ESPN+ subscribers: 12.1 million
  • Hulu SVOD subscribers: 35.4 million
  • Hulu SVOD+Live subscribers: 4 million

Details: In total, Disney says its direct-to-consumer revenues were up 73% to $3.5 billion. Its losses were also lower last quarter, thanks to improved results at Hulu, and to a lesser extent, at Disney+ and ESPN+.

Yes, but: The average revenue per streaming subscriber fell significantly last quarter, due to the fact the company is now including subscribers to its Indian subscription streaming service, Hotstar, in its calculus.

  • "The average monthly revenue per paid subscriber for Disney+ Hotstar is significantly lower than the average monthly revenue per paid subscriber for Disney+ in other markets," the company noted in a statement.

Catch up quick: Disney has been forced to close most of its parks, or operate them at limited capacity due to the pandemic. The company laid off 28,000 people last year at its theme parks and experiences and consumer products divisions.

  • The company said on Thursday that it expects Disneyland and Disneyland Paris to remain closed through Q2 2021.

The bottom line: Disney has in the past year reoriented its business around streaming in an effort to capitalize on the growth of streaming during the pandemic.

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