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Disney's DTC Subs Surpass Netflix

The Walt Disney Company
(Image credit: The Walt Disney Company)

BURBANK, Calif.—As Disney announced significant subscription price increases (opens in new tab) for its streaming services and launch dates for a lower-cost ad-supported Disney+ service, the company also reported subscriber increases for Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+, larger losses in its direct-to-consumer segment and sub counts for all its direct-to-consumer services that would seem to surpass Netflix for the first time. 

For Disney’s Q3, 2022 quarter ending July 2, 2022, DTC revenues jumped by 19% to $5.1 billion but operating losses increased by 0.8 billion to $1.1 billion. “Lower results at Disney+ reflected higher programming and production, technology and marketing costs, partially offset by increases in subscription revenue and, to a lesser extent, advertising revenue,” the company said.  

Paid subs at Disney+ in the U.S. rose to 44.5 million, up 17% year over year, and to 152.1 million worldwide in the quarter. 

Meanwhile ESPN+ increased to 22.8 million. 

Hulu’s SVOD only subs increased to 42.2 million while its Hulu Live TV + SVOD subs grew to 4 million.  

Disney doesn’t supply global total sub counts but adding the Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu global subs produces a total of 221.1 million, slightly higher than the 220.67 million global subs Netflix (opens in new tab) reported in its Q2 earnings ending June 30, 2022. 

The company also lowered its streaming subscriber guidance after the loss of cricket rights in India. It now expects to hit 135 million to 165 million Disney+ subscribers by 2024 (opens in new tab)

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.