Disney has been putting much of their time and energy into their direct to consumer (dtc) division and has seen some incredible results, with many investment firms tagging Disney+ as the primary competition to Netflix’s dominance. But, according to a new report from The Information, the initial growth in subscribers may have flattened a bit, at least in the United States.
According to a report from The Information, that Disney has claimed contains ‘factual inaccuracies,’ Disney+ has surpassed 110 million total subscribers worldwide. Which is an impressive number, but the report, which cites internal numbers their reporting has allegedly uncovered, indicates the vast majority of new subscribers come from India, with the United States only adding 1 million new subscribers since February. This is problematic as India’s service only costs roughly 45 cents per subscriber, where US consumers pay around $8 per account.
Disney responded to the report by stating that the report contains, “factual inaccuracies and does not reflect the performance of the service.” The company releases updated subscriber counts in the their quarterly financial statements released to investors. The next report is expected on August 12th, 2021.
While the actual figures are disputed, the news that Disney+ subscriptions have flatlined in the United States may explain Disney’s desire to push Black Widow, Jungle Cruise, and the upcoming Beatles documentary The Beatles: Get Back, to Disney+, with the first two seeing a dual theatrical and streaming release.
Earlier in fiscal year 2021 Disney increased their projections for new subscribers to 230-260 million by 2024, after seeing huge subscriber growth throughout 2020. We will need to see if the reporting by The Information is accurate when we get numbers in August. If they are, Disney will need to address plans to increase these numbers.
While the pandemic boosted subscriber counts for a number of streaming services, which was very helpful, it also created major issues with production schedules, halting a number of productions that were planned for Disney+. These have all restarted, with a number wrapping up over the last few months. Disney has shared their plans to supercharge new and original content for the streaming service to attract new subscribers in the years to come.
The Walt Disney Company’s stock dipped midday after this news was reported, then rebounded a bit and closed essentially flat. We will be covering the August 12th financial report along with all of the news regarding Disney+ and The Walt Disney Company as a business.