On a par with Netflix: the Disney+ streaming service
Photo: Dado Ruvic / REUTERS
The US entertainment giant Disney's streaming service has grown faster than expected.
According to the latest quarterly figures, Disney+ subscribers surpassed 152 million, up 31 percent year over year.
In the past quarter alone, an additional 14.4 million people subscribed to the streaming service.
The on-demand services Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ had a combined total of 221 million subscriptions at the end of June.
Disney has thus caught up with the previous market leader Netflix, which recently lost customers and also ended the past quarter with 221 million user accounts.
"We had an excellent quarter," announced Disney CEO Bob Chapek.
Disney+ and ESPN+ in particular flourished with annual growth rates of 31 and 53 percent, respectively, to a good 152 million and almost 23 million subscribers, respectively.
Disney's third streaming service Hulu increased the number of subscriptions by 8 percent to 46 million users.
The Disney+ streaming service, which only started in November 2019, gained 14.4 million customers in three months - significantly more than experts expected.
With the Star Wars series Obi-Wan Kenobi and Marvel's Ms.
Marvel« he landed two big hits.
Price increase to $10.99 per month
Disney immediately used the strong demand to introduce strong price increases.
For example, the price for the ad-free standard subscription to Disney+ for customers in the USA is to increase by 3 dollars to 10.99 dollars per month on December 8th.
But Disney – like Netflix – wants to introduce a cheaper version with commercial breaks.
This offer is said to cost $7.99 a month – as much as the ad-free subscription used to be.
With Hulu, the price goes up by $1 to $2 per month, depending on the subscription model.
ESPN+ also recently announced a price increase in the US.
Financially, too, things were going well for the entertainment empire, which also includes the classic TV cable division as well as film studios, theme parks, holiday resorts and cruise ships.
Sales grew 26 percent year-on-year to $21.5 billion.
Profit rose 53 percent to $1.4 billion.
The quarterly figures significantly exceeded analysts' expectations.
The stock reacted after hours with a price increase of more than 4 percent.
Disney has recently had a difficult time on Wall Street – the share has been down 28 percent since the beginning of the year.