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“The Streaming Service, Stupid…” DTC Remains Disney’s Top Priority


Image: Variety/Disney

The Walt Disney Company’s Quarter 3 earnings call’s underlying message spoke to the strength and sustainability of Disney+

“The economy, stupid” was the clarion call of colorful campaign advisor James Carville and one of a small set of messages meant to set then-candidate Bill Clinton apart from the incumbent, President George H. W. Bush, in the presidential election of 1992.

Of course, many have parodied the successful phrase. The simplicity of the message construct often seems appropriate when trying to get to the crux of the issue – the clarification of purpose or difference or importance.

Image: Disney

And, right now, with The Walt Disney Company, Disney+ corners the (streaming) market in importance.

DTC is WDC’s Top Priority

The press release posted before today’s “Walt Disney Company Third Quarter 2021 Financial Results Conference Call” boasted a ten-fold increase of earnings per share of DIS, from $0.08 in Q3 last year to $0.80 in 2021.

“We ended the third quarter in a strong position and are pleased with the Company’s trajectory as we grow our businesses amidst the ongoing challenges of the pandemic,” said Bob Chapek, Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company, in the release. “We continue to introduce exciting new experiences at our parks and resorts worldwide, along with new guest-centric services, and our direct-to-consumer business is performing very well.”

The Walt Disney Company
Image: Disney

BTW: Direct-to-consumer (DTC) is streaming.

“As we’ve said, our direct-to-consumer business is the company’s top priority,” added Chapek during the call. “And among our unique advantages in promoting and growing our DTC service are our powerhouse brands and the vast array of direct consumer touchpoints we have across our businesses.”

Three Numbers Tell the Story

Three numbers illustrated that adherence to “the top priority” during today’s Q3 earnings call. Those would be 174 million, 116 million, and 58.5 million.

Image: Disney+
  • 174 million subscribers for Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu;
  • 116 million Disney+ subscribers;
  • 58.5 million more Disney+ subs than last year’s Q3 report (57.5 million in Q3 2020).
Image: Disney

“Our foremost priority will continue to be to tell the world’s most original and enduring stories brought to life by the world’s most talented creators,” re-stated Chapek. “We are executing against those priorities, and the results clearly speak for themselves.”

Those results say, “It’s the streaming service, stupid.”

Mark Your Calendars

As Mr. Chapek would say, “Stay tuned…”

One of the biggest news items from today’s call was the announcement of Disney+ Day, November 12.

“The power of [the Disney companies] synergy will be on full display,” added the CEO of Disney+ Day, “an unprecedented, company-wide, cross-promotional campaign.”

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