Walt Disney edged out Netflix with a total of 221 million streaming subscribers at the end of last quarter and announced it would launch a Disney+ option with advertising in December.
In the just-ended quarter, Disney+ added 14.4 million Disney+ customers, beating the consensus of 10 million expected by analysts polled by FactSet, when the Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi series released. and Marvel’s Ms. Marvel.
Combined with Hulu and ESPN+, Disney said it had 221.1 million streaming subscribers at the end of the June quarter. Netflix said it has 220.7 million streaming subscribers.
Last month, Netflix announced that it had lost another 1 million subscribers, the company’s first consecutive quarterly loss of customers. Netflix is also planning an ad-supported streaming option.
The company announced that Disney+ with ads will cost $7.99 per month, the same price the company currently charges for the ad-free version. The cost of ad-free Disney+ will increase by $3 per month to $10.99 starting December 8. Prices on Hulu, also owned by Disney, will increase by $1 to $2 per month depending on the plan.
In 2017, Disney staked its future on creating a streaming service to rival Netflix as audiences shifted to online viewing from traditional cable and broadcast television.
The world’s biggest entertainment company reported profits of $1.41 billion as visitors filled its theme parks. Operating profit more than doubled in the parks, experiences and products division to $3.6 billion.
“We had an excellent quarter, with our world-class creative and commercial teams driving outstanding performances at our domestic theme parks, strong live sports viewership growth and significant subscriber growth to our services. streaming,” said Bob Chapek, CEO. .
Shares of Disney, which had fallen 28% this year, rose 4% in after-hours trading to $116.85.
Disney’s streaming effort continues to lose money, reporting a loss of $1.1 billion for the quarter. That dampened the media and entertainment unit, whose profits fell 32% to nearly $1.4 billion.
Reuters contributed article