No matter what you think about the House of Mouse, the Force, or Marvel’s many assorted heroes and villains, there’s no denying Disney+ has might behind it. According to today’s quarterly report, which you can read here, the streamer now has more than 150 million subscribers worldwide, a number that includes India’s Disney+ Hotstar.
This reflects an increase over last quarter’s 146.7 million, as reported by Variety, which also notes that Hulu now has 48.5 million subscribers and ESPN+ has 26 million. Even with those increases, Disney’s streaming arm still lost money, but it lost less than last year: “Disney’s streaming business lost $US387 million in its Q4, a year-over-year improvement of 74% from a loss of $US1.4 billion in the company’s Q4 2022,” the trade writes.
“Our results this quarter reflect the significant progress we’ve made over the past year. While we still have work to do, these efforts have allowed us to move beyond this period of fixing and begin building our businesses again,” CEO Bob Iger wrote in a letter addressed to shareholders. “As we look forward, there are four key building opportunities that will be central to our success: achieving significant and sustained profitability in our streaming business, building ESPN into the preeminent digital sports platform, improving the output and economics of our film studios, and turbocharging growth in our parks and experiences business.”
Titles specifically cited by the company as adding to Disney+’s growth include surprise Pixar smash Elemental, the live-action Little Mermaid, and James Gunn’s Marvel swan song Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3., as well as Lucasfilm’s Star Wars series Ahsoka and Korean original series Moving.
In related Disney news today, Iger revealed that the anticipated combining of Disney+ and Hulu into one app will begin beta testing next month, which lines up with the projected December 1 finalisation of Disney taking full ownership of Hulu. “We remain on track to roll out a unified one-app experience domestically,” Variety quoted Iger as saying on the earnings call; the beta version of the Disney+/Hulu app arrive in December, with a full launch coming in spring 2024.
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