The Walt Disney Company just released its quarterly results and held an investors call, both of which were very heavily dominated by the upcoming launch of Disney+.
Two of the biggest bits of news were that Amazon, Samsung and LG devices will be carrying Disney+ at launch and that Disney+ will launch in Western Europe, including the UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy and others on March 31st.
“Our solid results in the fourth quarter reflect the ongoing strength of our brands and businesses,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “We’ve spent the last few years completely transforming The Walt Disney Company to focus the resources and immense creativity across the entire company on delivering an extraordinary direct-to-consumer experience, and we’re excited for the launch of Disney+ on November 12.”
They also announced that the Direct-to-Consumer & International revenues for the quarter increased from $0.8 billion to $3.4 billion and segment operating loss increased from $340 million to $740 million. The increase in operating loss was due to the consolidation of Hulu, costs associated with the upcoming launch of Disney+ and their ongoing investment in ESPN+, which was launched in April 2018. These decreases were partially offset by a benefit from the inclusion of the TFCF businesses driven by income at Star India.
In the past quarter, Disney has been getting revenue for Disney+, with people paying up front for annual and 3 year deals, though they have been spending more on making content and advertising.
Bob Iger also spoke during the Q&A session about how the trial for Disney+ in the Netherlands has been going. They’ve already found a wide range of people are using the app and the use of downloads to devices is popular, along with watching in 4K.
Other streaming news included FX content moving exclusively to Hulu in March and that FX is creating four new Hulu exclusive shows including Debs, A Teacher, Ms. America with Cate Blanchett, and The Old Man. This will also include the FX library and new FX shows will be on Hulu just after they air. Fox Searchlight is also creating original programming for Hulu. Bob Iger wouldn’t get into specifics but said they will be sharing more information about the international expansion of Hulu
Are you getting Disney+ at launch?