Disney+ Hits 73M Subscribers
CEO calls direct-to-consumer “the future of our company”
BURBANK, Calif.—As Disney+ celebrates its one-year anniversary, The Walt Disney Company has shared that its streaming platform is being enjoyed by more than 73 million subscribers.
In Disney’s Fourth Quarter and Full Year Earnings report for FY 2020, which includes numbers up to Oct. 3, Disney+ is reported to have 73.7 million paid subscribers. When the SVOD first launched, Disney had a stated goal of having 60-90 million subscribers in its first five years, a benchmark that it announced it cleared back in August.
Bob Chapek, CEO of The Walt Disney Company, said that Disney+, and the other direct-to-consumer aspects of its business, was a bright spot in a year beset by the pandemic, saying that DTC is “key to the future of our company;” a statement backed up earlier this year when Disney began a company reorganization.
Disney’s other direct-to-consumer offerings, ESPN+ and Hulu, also saw strong growth. ESPN+ went from 3.5 million subscribers at the end of FY 2019 to 10.3 million at the end of FY 2020. Hulu, between its live TV & SVOD and SVOD-only packages, increased 28.5 million in 2019 to 36.6 million in 2020.
As for the financials, Disney reported fourth quarter 2020 DTC & international revenues increased to $4.9 billion (up from $3.4 billion in 2019), with its operating loss decreasing from $751 million to $580 million. The full-year revenue for DTC came in at $16.9 billion, up from 2019’s nearly $9.4 billion.
Beyond DTC, Disney also shared its financials for its media networks. Between cable and broadcasting, Disney ended the year with just shy of $28.4 billion in revenue, a 14% increase from 2019’s $24.8 billion. Cable and broadcasting each increased individually for the year—and fourth quarter—with cable increasing 9% for all of 2020 to $17.9 billion (11% for Q4 to $4.7 billion) and broadcasting jumping 25% to $10.4 billion (10% in Q4 to almost $2.5 billion).
Disney acknowledged that COVID-19 had a negative impact on cable networks like ESPN, with many sporting events delayed or cancelled, but that they were offset by growths from the likes of FX Networks and Domestic Disney channels. Broadcasting, meanwhile, increased due to affiliate revenue growth and lower network programming and production costs, again impacted by COVID-19, the company said.
For a full look at Disney’s yearly and Q4 financials, visit Disney’s website (opens in new tab).
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