Disney+ experienced a decline of 1.3 million subscribers in the final quarter of 2023 following a substantial price increase introduced in the fall.
Despite the loss in subscribers, the streaming platform successfully reduced its streaming business losses by $300 million during the October-December period.
Core subscribers, encompassing U.S., Canada, and international users (excluding Disney+ Hotstar in India), decreased from 112.6 million to 111.3 million.
This was stated as Disney reported earnings as revenue remained largely unchanged at $23.5 billion, falling short of the $23.8 billion average estimate due to challenges in Disney’s TV business and underperformance of two theatrical releases, “The Marvels” and “Wish.”
Despite revenue challenges, Disney anticipates a profit increase of at least 20% for the year, reaching around $4.60 per share.
- This outlook exceeds the estimated $4.27 per share, providing CEO Bob Iger with a strong position amid activist investor Trian Fund Management LP’s efforts. Trian has nominated founder Nelson Peltz and former Disney finance chief Jay Rasulo to Disney’s board.
- Disney’s streaming service, Disney+, saw a decline in subscribers to 149.6 million, missing analysts’ projections of 151.2 million.
- However, the overall losses in streaming, including Hulu and ESPN+, decreased to $216 million from $1.05 billion a year ago. Disney expects to add up to 6 million core Disney+ subscribers in the current period, aiming for its streaming operation to achieve profitability by the fourth quarter of the fiscal year.
The international parks segment proved to be a bright spot for Disney, with profit rising over fourfold and sales increasing by 35% compared to the previous year. This growth offset more modest gains in revenue at domestic resorts and a slight drop in profit, particularly at Walt Disney World in Florida.
What you should know
Subsequently, Disney+ announced that it is set to enforce restrictions on password sharing as part of its new Terms of Service, with a particular focus on users in the United States.
The revised Service Agreement defines a household as the collection of devices associated with the subscriber’s primary personal residence, specifically utilized by individuals residing there.
Disney+ users were informed that limitations on account sharing outside the subscriber’s household would be introduced, and the service would analyze account usage to ensure compliance.
This policy is already effective for new subscribers in the United States and Canada and extends to Hulu, another streaming service owned by The Walt Disney Company. Existing members will experience the changes by March 14.