By Julia Cameron • 11 May 2023 • 8:44
Disney loses four million subscribers.
Credit: AFM Visuals/Shutterstock.com
The Disney Plus streaming service lost four million subscribers in the first three months of the year,
Most of the losses were on its Hotstar service in Asia. This channel lost the rights to stream Indian cricket matches last year.
Subscription rises in the US and Canada were also thought to be of blame. Shares in Disney fell by around 5 per cent in after-hours trading in New York.
The company are under pressure to reduce costs and make the streaming channel more profitable. Disney has reduced its operating losses from $1.1bn in the previous quarter to $659m in the first three months of this year.
Bob Iger, Disney’s chief executive said “The improved financial performance reflects the strategic changes we’ve been making throughout the company to realign Disney for sustained growth and success.” He went on to say that Disney “had reached a turning point” and would become profitable by next year.
This news comes as Hollywood TV and screenwriters held their first strike in fifteen years. The writers want better pay and working conditions. When they went on strike in 2007 it cost the industry an estimated $2bn, but on Wednesday (10 May) Disney’s chief financial officer, Christine McCarthy refused to put a figure on how much the latest strike could cost the company.
Disney has transformed itself from traditional television and movies to one of the industry’s leading streaming platforms which include sports TV ESPN+ and entertainment site Hulu.
However, although it has around 158m subscribers around the world, it still comes second to Netflix which has 232.5m subscribers.
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Julia is an ex-pat writer from Brighton living in a small village close to the Andalucian town of Priego de Cordoba. When she's not working she enjoys reading, tracing her ancestry and swimming. She especially loves the summer when she can get down to the coast and chill on the beach.
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