Disney + added 7.9 million subscribers in the last quarter, totaling 138 million worldwide, the company said Wednesday, helping it avoid a slowdown in streaming that has recently crushed Netflix’s stock price.
Like most media companies, Disney shares fell last month after Netflix announced it had lost 200,000 subscribers in the first three months of the year and that it is expected to lose another two million this quarter. After years of media companies applauding for losing billions in streaming, investors are now putting pressure on them to find a way to profitability.
The release of films such as Pixar’s “Turning Red” helped attract Disney + subscribers in the first quarter, which ended April 2. Disney shares rose about 4 percent in after-hours trading.
The Disney results are a bit of good news for Bob Chapek, the CEO who dealt with the public relations crisis caused by the company’s response to Florida school law, which, among other things, limits classroom discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity. (Disney is the largest private employer in the state.)
The company initially refrained from publicly speaking out against the bill, but changed it after an internal uprising. Mr Chapek then condemned the legislation, which angered Conservatives, including Florida Gov. Ron Desantis. Last month, Republican lawmakers in Florida repealed a 1967 law that allowed Walt Disney World to function as its own quasi-government. Following the uproar, Jeff Morel, who joined Disney in January as his top executive in government relations and communications, resigned last month.
Revenue at Disney rose 23 percent year-on-year to $ 19.2 billion, but analysts’ expectations were exceeded. Disney said it had dealt a major blow to its decision to leave some of its content from other distributors in favor of its own channels, which meant cutting $ 1 billion in licensing revenue as part of a trade to boost its direct channels. Consumer business.
Disney announced a profit of $ 1.08, analysts’ expectations were $ 1.17.
The Disney theme parks department returned a year ago when the Covid-19 pandemic delayed personal attendance. Revenue in the division has doubled compared to the same period last year, increasing with the management of the new line skipping system.
As streaming services seek more customers, India is emerging as an important market. Deep-pocketed media companies are preparing to bid for the right to show cricket matches from the popular Indian Premier League. Disney currently has the right to transfer matches to its Hotstar service, which it acquired with 21st Century Fox in the 2019 Megadeal. Losing these rights can be a blow. However, Mr Chapek said Disney could achieve its customers’ goals even if it did not retain those rights.
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