As part of its latest quarterly earnings report, The Walt Disney Company revealed that its Disney+ streaming service lost 11.7 million subscribers in the second quarter of 2023, most of them in India. This follows a loss of 4 million subscribers in the previous quarter, and the firm revealed that it will need to raise prices across its Disney+ and related services and bundles.
“Our results this quarter are reflective of what we’ve accomplished through the unprecedented transformation we’re undertaking at Disney to restructure the company, improve efficiencies, and restore creativity to the center of our business,” The Walt Disney Company CEO Robert A. Iger said. “In the eight months since my return, these important changes are creating a more cost-effective, coordinated, and streamlined approach to our operations that has put us on track to exceed our initial goal of $5.5 billion in savings as well as improved our direct-to-consumer operating income by roughly $1 billion in just three quarters.”
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Disney’s direct-to-consumer revenues increased 9 percent in the quarter to $5.5 billion, though the business still posted an operating loss of $0.5 billion, down from $1.1 billion in the year-ago quarter. The decrease in operating loss was due to a lower loss at Disney+, a higher operating income at Hulu, and a lower loss at ESPN+.
Disney+ ended the quarter with 150.1 million subscribers overall, down from 157.8 million at the end of the previous quarter. ESPN+ subscribers were flat, at 25.2 million (compared to 25.3 million in the previous quarter. And total Hulu subscribers were also flat, at 48.3 million (compared to 48.2 million in the previous quarter).
In any event, prices are going up.
Starting in October, Disney+ Premium (no ads) will rise from $10.99 to $13.99 per month, a jump of 27 percent, in the U.S. Hulu without ads will rise from $14.99 per month to $17.99 per month. Hulu + Live TV with ads is going up by $7 to $76.99 per month, while the no ads tier is going up by the same amount to $89.99 per month. ESPN+ will go up by one dollar, from $9.99 to $10.99 per month.
As for bundles, the Disney+ and Hulu bundle with ads will still cost $9.99, and Disney will offer a new Disney+ and Hulu (no ads) bundle for $19.99 per month, a $12 per month savings. But the Disney+, Hulu (no ads), and ESPN+ (with ads) bundle is going up $2, to $14.99 per month.
The firm is also expanding its Disney+ ad-supported plans to Canada, the U.K., France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark on November 1. And it will introduce new ways to prevent password sharing some time in 2024, following Netflix.