Disney Plus subscribers decline for second quarter, but revenue improves

David Curry | May 18, 2023

App Business

The number of subscribers to Disney Plus declined for the second consecutive quarter, losing four million in the last three months. The decline is almost entirely due to Disney Hotshot, its Indian streaming service, which lost the rights to stream the Indian Premier League in 2022. 

While it may look bad for Disney Plus to be in decline, outside of Hotstar it has continued to grow its subscriber count, albeit it at a slower rate. It added 600,000 subscribers to Disney Plus outside of Hotstar over the last three months. 

Disney Plus quarterly subscribers 2020 to 2023 (mm)

A positive from this is with the increase in price for Disney Plus in certain markets, alongside less users on free trials, meant that the average revenue per user for Disney Plus increased by $0.51. At $4.44, it is at its highest rate in over two years. 

Revenue from Disney Plus saw a noticeable bump in the most recent quarter, surpassing $2 billion. This reversed two quarters of decline for the video streaming service. 

At its current size, Disney Plus is bringing in about a quarter of the revenue as Netflix, although it still generates more of its content revenue from cinema and linear TV.

Disney Plus quarterly revenue 2020 to 2023 ($mm)

Disney has plans to add Hulu content onto Disney Plus, which may allow them to raise the price of the streaming service by the end of the year. It is not clear yet if Hulu will remain a separate entity, or be folded into Disney Plus, similar to how HBO is merging HBO Max with Discovery Plus. 

Disney Plus has closed the gap between it and Netflix over the past two years, but it has hit its first hurdle with the decline in subscribers for Disney Hotstar. Amazon reportedly has 175 million subscribers to Prime Video, although it offers the service for free to Prime subscribers, so the exact amount of viewers is difficult to determine. According to JustWatch, Prime Video surpassed Netflix in market share in the United States. 

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