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Credit: Disney+

Disney CEO Bob Chapek told media and investors on Thursday that its streaming service Disney+ now has 86.8 million subscribers.

Why it matters: The company's streaming success has helped to offset major losses in Disney's studios, parks and resorts divisions.

What they're saying: Speaking at the company's annual investor day, Chapek said the company couldn't have ever imagined achieving such success so quickly.

  • He also acknowledged the challenges the pandemic presented the company this year. "Let me just say how proud I am to be leadings this extraordinary company during this pivotal time," he said.

The big picture: Most of the company's presentation focused on streaming, which is where the company sees its future.

  • Kareem Daniel, Disney's media and entertainment distribution division chairman, revealed details about the company's programming for Disney+, including 10 new Marvel and Star Wars series, 15 Disney live action, animation and Pixar series, and 15 new Disney live action, animation, and Pixar features to be released on Disney+.
  • Daniel also noted that Disney would release its upcoming movie "Raya and the Last Dragon" through Disney+ at same time it debuts in theaters in March 2021.

By the numbers: The company said it now has 86.8 million Disney + subscribers. Of those 86.8 million Disney+ subscribers, 30% are subscribers to Hotstar, India's largest streaming platform which is owned by Disney. The media giant also has:

  • 38.8 million Hulu subscribers.
  • 11.5 million ESPN subscribers.

Hulu President Kelly Campbell says Hulu+ Live TV has now has surpassed 4 million subscribers, making it the 5th largest U.S. pay-TV provider. She added that the company now makes $10 per subscriber in ad revenue per month.

  • Hulu also teased a new show with the Kardashians come 2021. It said it would renew its hit show "Handmaid's Tale" for a 5th season.

Internationally, Disney also announced it plans to launch two new general entertainment content brands — Star and Star+ outside the U.S.

  • Star+ will be focused on Latin America and will concentrate on sports content.
  • Going forward Hulu will launch exclusive original films from 20th Century Studios and Searchlight Studios.
  • ESPN+ will become directly available in the Hulu interface.

When it comes to sports, Disney's chair of ESPN and Sports Content Jimmy Pitaro said the network has reached an agreement with the SEC (Southeastern conference) to expand its partnerships beginning with the 2024 season.

  • As part of the deal, Disney's broadcast network ABC will become the new home of the SEC's afternoon football coverage, as well as select Saturday prime-time games and the annual SEC football championship game starting in 2024.
  • He added that select SEC games will be available on ESPN+ beginning next year.

Go deeper

Jan 12, 2021 - Economy & Business

Exclusive: OZY hits profitability on $50 million in revenue

Photo of Ozy CEO and co-founder Carlos Watson

OZY brought in $50 million in revenue last year, helping it hit profitability for the first time in its 7-year history.

Why it matters: The company has received acquisition offers from at least two major media companies, its founder and CEO Carlos Watson tells Axios.

45 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Joe Biden's COVID-19 bubble

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The incoming administration is planning extraordinary steps to protect its most prized commodity, Joe Biden, including requiring daily employee COVID tests and N95 masks at all times, according to new guidance sent to some incoming employees Tuesday.

Why it matters: The president-elect is 78 years old and therefore a high risk for the virus and its worst effects, despite having received the vaccine. While President Trump's team was nonchalant about COVID protocols — leading to several super-spreader episodes — the new rules will apply to all White House aides in "high proximity to principals."

Justice Department drops insider trading inquiry against Sen. Richard Burr

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) walking through the Senate Subway in the U.S. Capitol in December 2020. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

The Department of Justice told Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) on Tuesday that it will not move forward with insider trading charges against him.

Why it matters: The decision, first reported by the New York Times, effectively ends the DOJ's investigation into the senator's stock sell-off that occurred after multiple lawmakers were briefed about the coronavirus' potential economic toll. Burr subsequently stepped down as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.