Today, the Walt Disney Company has released its latest quarterly results for the fiscal third 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 July 1st 2023.
Disney+ now has 146.1 million subscribers globally, which is down over 11 million from 157.8 million subscribers last quarter. In the US and Canada, they only went down around 300,000 subscribers. However, Disney+ subscribers in other areas, including Latin America, Europe and Asia, increased by over a million subscribers. But it is in India that Disney+ lost over eleven million subscribers due to the loss of the Indian Cricket League. It’s worth pointing out, that due to the amount of money made from a subscriber in India, they are worth around 59 cents per subscriber, compared to $7.31 in the US and Canada. From a financial point of view, ten million subscribers being lost in India, is equal to losing one million in the US.
While both ESPN+ and Hulu have added around 100,000 subscribers, in the US.
Disney CEO Bob Iger said in a statement:
“Our results this quarter are reflective of what we’ve accomplished through the unprecedented transformation we’re undertaking at Disney to restructure the company, improve efficiencies, and restore creativity to the center of our business. In the eight months since my return, these important changes are creating a more cost- effective, coordinated, and streamlined approach to our operations that has put us on track to exceed our initial goal of $5.5 billion in savings as well as improved our direct-to-consumer operating income by roughly $1 billion in just three quarters. While there is still more to do, I’m incredibly confident in Disney’s long-term trajectory because of the work we’ve done, the team we now have in place, and because of Disney’s core foundation of creative excellence and popular brands and franchises.”
The improvement at Disney+ was due to higher subscription revenue and a decrease in marketing costs, partially offset by higher programming and production costs and lower advertising revenue. Higher subscription revenue was attributable to Disney+ Core subscriber growth and increases in Disney+ Core retail pricing. The increase in programming and production costs was due to higher costs for non-sports content, partially offset by a decrease in sports programming costs. The decreases in sports programming costs and advertising revenue reflected the comparison to IPL cricket programming in the prior-year quarter, as we did not renew the digital rights beginning with the 2023 season. Higher costs for non-sports content were due to more content provided on the service.
At Hulu, higher operating income included the benefit of subscription revenue growth and lower marketing costs, partially offset by higher programming and production costs and lower advertising revenue. Subscription revenue growth was due to increases in retail pricing and subscribers. The increase in programming and production costs was attributable to more content provided on the service and an increase in subscriber-based fees for programming the Live TV service, partially offset by a lower average cost mix of SVOD content. Higher subscriber-based fees for programming the Live TV service were due to more subscribers and rate increases. The decrease in advertising revenue was due to fewer impressions.
Improved results at ESPN+ were attributable to growth in subscription revenue due to increases in retail pricing and subscribers.
Domestic Disney+ average monthly revenue per paid subscriber increased from $7.14 to $7.31 due to higher per-subscriber advertising revenue.
International Disney+ (excluding Disney+ Hotstar) average monthly revenue per paid subscriber increased from $5.93 to $6.01 due to an increase in average retail pricing and a favourable foreign exchange impact, partially offset by a higher mix of wholesale subscribers.
Disney has also recorded charges of $2,440 million related to the removal of content such as “Willow” and “Big Shot”, from it’s streaming services and the termination of certain third-party license agreements for the right to use content primarily on their DTC platforms (Content Impairment Charge) and $210 million of severance.
Disney has also provided a detailed breakdown per region: (Million)
Disney+ – Global – 146.1
Disney+ – Domestic (US & Canada) – 46.0
Disney+ – International excluding Disney+ Hotstar+ – 59.7
Disney+ Core – (excluding Hotstar) – 105.7
Disney+ Hotstar – 40.4
ESPN+ – Million Subscribers (US Only) – 25.2
Hulu – Million Subscribers (US Only) – 48.3
To compare, here are the subscription numbers (Millions) from May’s Investor Call:
Disney+ – Global – 157.8
Disney+ – Domestic (US & Canada) – 46.3
Disney+ – International excluding Disney+ Hotstar+ – 58.6
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.