Disney+ growth stalls | Major Businesses | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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Two years after it was first unleashed onto the video market, the growth of the Disney+ direct-to-consumer service has shown signs of slowing down according to the end of year results from parent The Walt Disney Company.
Disney 12AUg2021
For the entertainment behemoth’s fourth quarter ended 2 October 2021, revenues were $18. 534 billion, up 26% on annual basis, showing the way in which the firm has bounced back now that Covid restrictions have been lifted. For the full year revenues totalled $67.418 billion, 3% up on the previous full fiscal year. Net income from continuing operations showed a big turnaround form $710 million in Q4 2020 to $160 this year. For the full year, the company tuned around a $2.832 billion loss to a profit of $2.024 billion for 2021.

Looking at segment results, Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution reported revenues of $13.084 billion at the end of Q4 21, increasing 9% on an annual basis. Revenues for the segment for the year broke the $50 billion barrier, rising 5% from the $48.350 billion at the end of the 2020 financial year.

Of the units belonging to Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution, direct-to-consumer was the star revenue performer seeing fourth quarter revenues soar 38% to $4.56 billion and yearly revenues fly by 55% to $16.319 billion. These compared with a 4% quarterly fall in revenues at Linear Networks to $6.698 billion. Yearly linear revenues inched upwards by 2% compared with 2020, ending on a total of $28.093 billion.

Yet Direct-to-Consumer operating losses increased from $0.4 billion to $0.6 billion. The increase in operating loss was due to higher losses at Disney+, and to a lesser extent, ESPN+, partially offset by improved results at Hulu. The higher loss at Disney+ was due to higher programming and production, marketing and technology costs, partially offset by increases in subscription and Premier Access revenues. Higher subscription revenue reflected subscriber growth and increases in retail pricing. Higher Premier Access revenue was due to two releases in the current quarter, Black Widow and Jungle Cruise, compared to one release in the prior-year quarter, Mulan. Increases in costs and subscribers reflected the ongoing expansion of Disney+.

Looking at customers, Disney ended the fiscal year with 179 million total subscriptions across its direct-to-consumer with 60% subscriber growth year-over-year for Disney+, totalling 118.1 million. ESPN+ racked up 17.1 million and Hulu 43.8 million. Yet looking at quarter-on-quarter subs growth, Disney+ added just 2.1 million customers an Hulu 1 million and ESPN+ 2.2 million.

Assessing the financial year in the context of the post-covid environment, The Walt Disney Company Disney chief executive officer, Bob Chapek described fiscal 2021as a very productive year for The Walt Disney Company, with great strides in reopening businesses while taking “meaningful and innovative” steps in direct-to-consumer. “As we celebrate the two-year anniversary of Disney+, we’re extremely pleased with the success of our streaming business,” he remarked. “We continue to manage our DTC business for the long-term, and are confident that our high-quality entertainment and expansion into additional markets worldwide will enable us to further grow our streaming platforms globally.”