Disney+ has hit a rough spot. The streamer reported that it lost 2.4 million subscribers in its fourth quarter, which covers the last three months of 2022 – bringing the streamer’s total number of subscribers to roughly 161.8 million. The news was announced prior to today’s earnings call with the streaming giant.
During the previous earnings call in November 2022, Disney+ gained 12.1 million new subscribers, which brought its total number of subscribers to roughly 164.2 million.
Prior to that, the streamer had gained 14.4 million subscribers, and saw similar increases among its additional platforms, Hulu and ESPN+.
This time around, Hulu saw an increase of roughly 800,000 subscribers to reach 48.0 million total, while ESPN+ added 600,000 subscribers, reaching a total of 24.9 million.
These results coincide with Bob Iger’s first quarter back as CEO, after Bob Chapek was booted in November. The Walt Disney Company suspected that Disney+’s decrease in subscribers was a result of “higher programming and production costs and increased technology costs.”
In a statement, Iger shared, “After a solid first quarter, we are embarking on a significant transformation, one that will maximize the potential of our world-class creative teams and our unparalleled brands and franchises.”
He continued, “We believe the work we are doing to reshape our company around creativity, while reducing expenses, will lead to sustained growth and profitability for our streaming business, better position us to weather future disruption and global economic challenges, and deliver value for our shareholders.”
The latest stats follow the release of Willow, The Mysterious Benedict Society Season 2, and The Santa Clauses. Disney+ has also rolled out its cheaper ad-tier, which launched in the U.S. on Dec. 8, and brought price hikes for the alternative subscription plans.
This latest report means that Disney+ is still trailing behind its rival, Netflix, who reported a 7.66 million subscriber gain in its fourth quarter, bringing their total subscriber number to roughly 230.75 million subscribers. Disney+ is roughly 66.55 million subscribers away from tying with Netflix – however, given the recent backlash against Netflix’s proposed password sharing crackdown, the House of Mouse might surpass the other streamer in the coming months.
Feburary is expected to treat Disney+ well as this month saw the streaming premiere of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, plus the release of The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder Season 2 and the upcoming premiere of Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur.
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