The Walt Disney Company announced that it had lost 1.3 million Disney Plus subscribers after a price increase in the US, though it also managed to cut its streaming business losses by $300 million. Sharing the news in a recent Q1 fiscal year 2024 report, the company revealed that in the span of three months, from 30 September 2023 to 30 December 2023, it had dropped from 112.6 million subscribers down to 111.3 million.
Back in August, Disney announced that it would be raising the prices of Disney Plus subscriptions in the US with new plans introduced for its ad-free tiers, going up from $10,99 to $13,99. South Africa also saw a similar price hike of R30 a few months prior to the United States receiving its price bump. As a result of the price hike, it seems like subscriber numbers dropped quite a bit, though not really enough to put a dent in the overall numbers.
Disney also announced that Hulu susbcriber numbers actually went up, moving from 43.9 million to 45.1 million in the same time frame. Hulu is a bit more affordable than Disney on a monthly basis so it seems like several viewers might’ve shifted subscription services.
Despite losing a few million subscribers last quarter, Disney anticipates that it will see 5.5 to 6 million Disney Plus Core subscriber net additions in Q2 2024. It’s possible that the service will add several new movies and TV shows to entice subscribers to return, though we’ll have to see how that plays out.
Disney is still cracking down on password-sharing this year across several regions which may include South Africa, though it will be interesting to see how Disney handles that since South Africa doesn’t use passwords for Disney Plus but cellphone numbers. This follows streaming service competitor Netflix also doubling down on password-sharing restrictions last year, resulting in paid options being introduced to include members under one subscribed account.
In other news, Disney recently invested $1.5 billion in Epic Games to create a ‘connected universe’ to Fortnite. You can read more details right here.
Source: The Walt Disney Company