Aug 10, 2022 - Economy

Disney surpasses Netflix in global paid streaming subscribers

Photo illustration: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Disney's stock spiked nearly 4% in after-hours trading Wednesday after the entertainment giant said it added 14.4 million Disney+ subscribers, blowing past Wall Street expectations.

Why it matters: Disney now has more than 221 million total subscriptions across all of its subscription streaming offerings globally, officially surpassing Netflix, which reported 220.7 million global subscribers last quarter, after losing nearly 1 million subscribers compared to the previous quarter.

Details: The company also beat expectations for its revenues and profits, thanks to strong results in its theme parks division.

  • Live sports viewership gains helped give its TV business a boost.

Between the lines: Disney also announced a new pricing structure to support its new ad-supported tier, which is slated to debut in the U.S. on Dec. 8.

  • Moving forward, Disney+ without ads will cost $10.99, up from $7.99 monthly and Disney+ with ads will cost $7.99 monthly.
  • The price of Hulu's subscription without ads will also rise from $12.99 to $14.99, beginning Oct. 10. Hulu with ads will increase from $6.99 to $7.99.
  • Disney already introduced a price increase for ESPN+ last month.

By the numbers, via CNBC:

  • Earnings per share: $1.09 per share vs. 96 cents expected, according to a Refinitiv survey of analysts
  • Revenue: $21.5 billion vs. $20.96 billion expected, according to Refinitiv
  • Disney+ total subscriptions: 152.1 million vs 147.76 million expected, according to StreetAccount

The big picture: It's been a tumultuous year for streaming companies that are beginning to see slowed momentum coming out of the pandemic.

  • Amid a brutal market sell-off, Wall Street has put more pressure on entertainment companies to begin proving that the business economics behind their expensive streaming services are worth it.
  • Disney's streaming losses in particular have widened in the past few quarters, Axios' Tim Baysinger reports. Wall Street has in the past expressed concern about whether the company's long-term streaming strategy is most lucrative to investors.

Go deeper: Disney earnings from the past year

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