Disney+ rockets past 73MN subs in Walt Disney Group Q4 | Major Businesses | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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Even though Covid-19 has continued to affect negatively some of the firm’s key segments, the Walt Disney Company has ended its fourth quarter of the year with its Disney+ direct-to-consumer (DTC) service reporting huge uptake, indeed recoding more than 73 million paid subscribers far surpassing the company’s expectations in its first year.
DIsney 13Nov2019
Indeed, The Walt Disney CEO Bob Chapek said that the real bright spot for the quarter was the firm’s direct-to-consumer business, which he said was key to the future of the company. ““Even with the disruption caused by Covid-19, we’ve been able to effectively manage our businesses while also taking bold, deliberate steps to position our company for greater long-term growth,” he remarked.

And the performance of the DTC service for the quarter ended 3 October 2020 showed clearly the reason for the recently announced corporate pivot by the company towards streaming. By 3 October, Disney+ had racked up 73.7 million consumers since launch on 12 November. Yet other DTC offers also performed strongly in the quarter . The ESPN+ service ended the quarter with 10.3 million subs, almost seven million more than a year ago. The Hulu OTT service also grew robustly over the year, 28%, to 36.6 million subs. These broke down to 32.5 million SVOD only customers and 4.1 million live TV plus SVOD. Each Disney+ customer generated an average revenue of $4.52 per month; ESPN+ $4.54; Hulu SVOD only $12.59; and Hulu plus live TV $71.90.

Overall,  the fourth quarter results showed the Walt Disney Company posted revenues of $14.707 billion, tumbling 23% compared with the same time in 2019. For the full fiscal year, the firm posted total revenues of $65.388 billion, slipping 6% on an annual basis.

Attributing keys reason of the fall, Disney said that Covid-19 and measures to prevent its spread impacted segments in a number of ways, most significantly at Parks, Experiences and Products. It also had an adverse impact on Studio Entertainment and advertising sales at Media Networks and Direct-to-Consumer & International. Since March 2020, the company has also experienced significant disruptions in the production and availability of content, including the shift of key live sports programming from the third quarter to the fourth quarter and into fiscal 2021 as well as the suspension of production of most film and television content since late in the second quarter.

The Media Networks division had a strong Q4 with revenue of $1.864 billion, rising 5% annually, and for the year the division’s revenues rose 21% to total $9.022 billion. Growth at Media Networks was attributed to affiliate revenue growth – with the Broadcast division showing 48% annual growth to total $2 billion – as well as lower programming and production costs and the consolidation of TFCF, partially offset by a decrease in advertising revenue. Segment eliminations of operating income increased due to sales of Media Networks and Studio content to Hulu and Disney+.