Disney+ regains mojo in Walt Disney Q1 | Major Businesses | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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Having ended the previous quarter with showing signs of slowing down, the Disney+ service has regained momentum at the end of the Walt Disney Company’s company’s latest quarter along with other members of the direct-to-consumer estate.
Disney Multi Brand 12Feb2021
For the quarter ended 1 January 2022, the Walt Disney Company said it had enjoyed a “very strong” start to the fiscal year, with a significant rise in earnings per share, record revenue and operating income at domestic parks and resorts. It also singled out what it described as a significant increase in total subscriptions across its streaming portfolio amounting to196.4 million customers, including 11.8 million Disney+ subscribers added in the first quarter.

Drilling deeper, the Disney+ streaming service ended the quarter with a total of 129.9 million subscribers, 42.9 million from the US and Canada; 41.1 million international and 45.9 million fro the Disney+ Hotstar division. Overall Disney+ subs grew by 37% on an annual basis. The ESPN+ streaming service saw 76% annual growth to 21.3 million subs while Hulu grew compared with the end of Q1 2021 to 45.3 million.

Direct-to-Consumer revenues for the quarter increased 34% to $4.7 billion and operating loss increased 27% 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. Lower results at Disney+ were said to have reflected higher programming and production, marketing and technology costs, partially offset by an increase in subscription revenue. Higher subscription revenue was due to subscriber growth and increases in retail pricing. The increases in costs and subscribers reflected growth in existing markets and to a lesser extent, expansion to new markets.

The increase at Hulu was due to subscription revenue growth, partially offset by higher programming and production costs. Subscription revenue growth was due to an increase in subscribers and higher rates driven by increases in retail pricing for the Hulu Live TV + SVOD service. The increase in programming and production costs was primarily due to higher subscriber-based fees for programming the Live TV service due to rate increases and the carriage of more networks.

Revenues at Walt Disney’s linear networks for the quarter were essentially flat to the prior-year quarter at $7.7 billion, and operating income decreased 13% to $1.5 billion. US channel revenues for the quarter increased 1% to $6.2 billion, and operating income decreased 21% to $0.9 billion, which reflected lower operating income at both the Cable and Broadcasting divisions.

The first quarter results also showed the decrease at Cable was primarily due to higher programming and production costs and increased marketing spending, partially offset by growth in advertising and affiliate revenue. The decrease at Broadcasting was due to lower results at the owned television stations primarily due to lower political advertising revenue, partially offset by higher affiliate revenue, which reflected an increase in contractual rates.

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