Disney Reports Strong Revenue and Subscriber Growth for Q2

Disney+ outperformed its subscriber goals, helping The Walt Disney Company to 23 percent revenue growth in its fiscal second quarter, ended April 2. “Our strong results in the second quarter, including fantastic performance at our domestic parks and continued growth of our streaming services — with 7.9 million Disney+ subscribers added in the quarter and total subscriptions across all our DTC offerings exceeding 205 million — once again proved that we are in a league of our own,” Disney CEO Bob Chapek summarized for investors. Disney+ now reaches 137.7 million subscribers.

Chapek reaffirmed the company’s goal of having Disney+ achieve profitability by 2024, at which time it hopes to have between 230 million and 260 million paying subs, feats he called “very achievable.” Although the streaming sector is getting very crowded, Disney has been successful in leveraging its strong brand identity, and Chapek emphasized swaths of yet-untapped subscribers as well as a strong upcoming slate of new film and TV offerings as favorable factors.

As Disney heads into its second century of operation, the company “will continue to transform entertainment by combining extraordinary storytelling with innovative technology to create an even larger, more connected, and magical Disney universe for families and fans around the world,” Chapek said in the earnings report.

In March, Disney announced it plans to later this year introduce an ad-supported Disney+ subscription tier priced lower than the add-free version. The ad-supported Disney+ tier will initially debut in the U.S. with plans to expand internationally in 2023.

On the Q2 earnings call, Chapek and Disney CFO Christine McCarthy were pressed on the high cost of acquiring new streaming subscribers. Spending on production, program acquisition and content marketing rose in the quarter, “with roughly one-third of Disney’s $32 billion content budget this year devoted to acquiring sports rights,” The Wall Street Journal reports.

Looking ahead, Chapek alluded to an expanded streaming future for ESPN, though he did not share specifics, according to The Verge. Disney’s future also includes the release of a new Star Wars universe offering, “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” due in theaters this summer, sequels to both “Black Panther” and “Avatar,” the “Toy Story” prequel “Lightyear,” and the superhero-next-door teen adventure “Ms. Marvel.”

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