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Disney Plus sheds 4 million subscribers in three months

Streaming platform ended the quarter with 157.8 million subscribers

Annabel Nugent
Thursday 11 May 2023 11:42 BST
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Disney+ 2022 trailer

Disney Plus has lost 4 million subscribers in the first three months of 2023.

The downtick marks a continued decline for the Walt Disney Company platform, which lost 2.4 million in the last quarter of 2022.

As reported by Variety, a large chunk of subscriber losses come from India and parts of Asia, where Disney Plus is branded as Disney Plus Hotstar.

The company recently lost the streaming rights to the Indian Premier League’s cricket matches.

Around 300,000 customers were lost in the US and Canada after Disney Plus raised its subscription prices.

The company ended the quarter with 157.8 million subscribers at Disney Plus.

Overall, Disney has managed to beat Wall Street expectations for quarterly earnings and revenue owing to a significant showing at the company’s theme parks as well as company-wide layoffs.

(AFP via Getty Images)

Additionally, subscriber numbers at other Disney-owned streaming services Hulu and ESPN Plus have remained strong. Hulu gained 200,000 subscriptions, with ESPN Plus accruing 400,000.

During Disney’s earnings call with analysts on Wednesday (10 May), chief financial officer Christine McCarthy announced that Disney will be “removing certain content from our streaming platforms”.

McCarthy told investors that the company expects a writedown of $1.5bn (£1.2bn) to $1.8bn (£1.4bn) as a result of removing the content.

She said that “going forward we intend to produce lower volumes of content in alignment with this strategic shift”.

The change to content will likely take effect in 2024 given that so much content has already been committed this year.

Disney Plus is home to a number of hugely popular shows, such as Marvel’s WandaVision, the Star Wars spin-off series The Mandalorian, and the critically acclaimed drama Dopesick, which explores America’s opioid crisis.

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