Today, the Walt Disney Company has released its latest quarterly results for the fiscal first quarter 2023, and that means we get an updated look at how many subscribers Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ have.
This gives us a clear indication of how the apps are doing, especially with growth or decline in subscriber numbers. These subscriber numbers are based up to 31st December 2022.
Disney+ now has 161.8 million subscribers globally, down over 2.8 million subscribers from 164.2 million subscribers last quarter. The majority of these losses were on Disney+ Hotstar in India. Disney+ Core (international + domestic) was actually up over a million, but wasn’t able to offset the losses in India, which had been expected as the cricket rights had been lost. While Hulu has added just under a million subscribers, and ESPN+ has also added half a million subscribers in the US.
This is the first time Disney+ subscribers have gone down since it launched in 2019 and shows how Disney is going to struggle to reach the targets for 2024, without more launches in other countries. With the economic global situation, all streaming services are going through a readjustment following the pandemic, which sped up customers shifting to streaming.
During this last quarter, Disney+ also launched a new ad-supported tier in the US and increased the price in the US, but with it being so late in the quarter, it’s hard to work out how big an impact this had.
Disney CEO Bob Iger said in a statement:
“After a solid first quarter, we are embarking on a significant transformation, one that will maximize the potential of our world-class creative teams and our unparalleled brands and franchises. We believe the work we are doing to reshape our company around creativity, while reducing expenses, will lead to sustained growth and profitability for our streaming business, better position us to weather future disruption and global economic challenges, and deliver value for our shareholders.”
Direct-to-Consumer revenues for the quarter increased 13% to $5.3 billion, and operating loss increased $0.5 billion to $1.1 billion. The increase in operating loss was due to a higher loss at Disney+ and a decrease in results at Hulu, partially offset by improved results at ESPN+. Results at Disney+ reflected higher programming and production costs and increased technology costs, partially offset by higher subscription revenue and a decrease in marketing costs. The increase in programming and production costs was attributable to more content provided on the service and higher average costs per hour, which included an increased mix of original content. Higher subscription revenue was due to subscriber growth, partially offset by an unfavourable foreign exchange impact.
Disney has also provided a detailed breakdown per region: (Million)
Disney+ – Global – 161.8
Disney+ – Domestic (US & Canada) – 46.6
Disney+ – International excluding Disney+ Hotstar+ – 57.7
Disney+ Core – (excluding Hotstar) – 104.3
Disney+ Hotstar – 57.5
ESPN+ – Million Subscribers (US Only) – 24.9
Hulu – Million Subscribers (US Only) – 48.0
To compare, here are the subscription numbers (Millions) from November’s Investor Call:
Disney+ – Global – 164.2
Disney+ – Domestic (US & Canada) – 46.4
Disney+ – International excluding Disney+ Hotstar+ – 56.5
Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom.