Disney lowered its long-term guidance for its total number of Disney Plus subscribers due to its recent loss of rights to stream IPL cricket in India © REUTERS
Walt Disney defied concerns about a slowing streaming industry by adding 14.4 million new subscribers to its Disney Plus service in the third quarter, bringing its total number of paid streaming customers to 221 million, slightly ahead of Netflix.
But Disney lowered its long-term guidance for its total number of Disney Plus subscribers due to its recent loss of rights to broadcast IPL cricket in India. Instead of reaching 260 million total subscribers by 2024, company officials now expect Disney Plus to reach 245 million.
Perhaps most important to investors, however, Disney maintained its goal of breaking even on its Disney Plus streaming service by 2024. Although Wall Street cheered once Disney and its rivals spent heavily into new streaming content to attract new subscribers, now investors are. focused on how companies will reach profitability.
To help achieve that goal, Disney said Wednesday it would raise the price of its streaming services, which include Hulu and ESPN, in the United States later this year. The price hikes will take effect as it launches ad-supported versions of its streaming services in December. Netflix has also announced plans for an ad-supported service in hopes of attracting more cost-conscious consumers.
The new details came as Disney reported strong third-quarter results, thanks in part to increased attendance at its U.S. and Paris theme parks, where attendance has surpassed pre-pandemic levels despite rising inflation.
Bob Chapek, Disney’s chief executive, said the park’s strong performance was partly due to “suppressed demand,” but added that the rebound is “much more resilient and much more durable” than a short-term rebound from the pandemic .