Disney touts 86.eight million Disney+ subscribers throughout investor day
Bob Chapek, CEO of the Walt Disney Company and former head of Walt Disney Parks and Experiences, speaks during a media preview of the D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, Aug. 22, 2019.
Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg via Getty Images
Disney’s streaming service Disney+ continues to gain subscribers. On Thursday, the company revealed that the platform now has 86.8 million subscribers during its annual investor day. That’s up from the 73 million that the company reported at the end of its fiscal fourth quarter.
Shares of the company rose 3% on the news.
The company’s newly minted strategy, which focuses heavily on its year-old streaming service Disney+, is all about “quality not volume,” Disney’s chairman and former CEO Bob Iger said.
Iger, who left the helm of the company nine months ago to focus on content, said “quality holds value.”
During the investor day presentation, Disney offered insight and updates about its trio of streaming services.
Here’s a breakdown of each:
On the heels of rival Warner Bros. announcing that it will release 17 films on HBO Max and in theaters on the same day next year, analysts and investors are keen to see how Disney will maneuver through the uncertainty still poised by a global pandemic.
Kareem Daniel, head of the company’s new media and entertainment distribution group, said that theatrical release help establish franchises. Something Disney has done well in the last decade with blockbusters from Marvel and Star Wars.
Daniel revealed that Disney+ will become home to 10 Marvel series, 10 Star Wars series, 15 Disney live-action, Disney Animation, and Pixar series and 15 Disney live action, Disney Animation, and Pixar films.
The company will also release the animated feature “Raya and the Last Dragon” on premium video on-demand through Disney+ and in theaters at the same time.
The Mandalorian and the Child on Disney+’s “The Mandalorian.”
Rebecca Campbell, Disney’s head of international operations and direct-to-consumer, said the launch in Latin America was a strong success for the company and Disney+ will launch in Eastern Europe, South Korea and Hong Kong in 2021.
In Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore will have Star integrated into the Disney+ app starting Feb. 23, 2021. In Europe Disney is raising the price to 8.99 Euro and the local equivalent in other markets.
Disney+ is also adding an “opt-in to mature content” feature which will allow older audiences to sign in and watch titles like “Logan,” “Modern Family” and “Atlanta.”
The company announced that it had struck a deal with Comcast to bring Disney+ and ESPN+ to the cable company’s set top boxes and platforms and reach more than 20 million Comcast cable and internet customers.
As of Dec. 2, the company said it has 38.8 million Hulu subscribers and Hulu+ Live TV has 4 million paying subscribers, the fifth largest pay TV provider overall. Recently, the company raised the platform’s price to $65, up from $55.
The success of films like “Palm Springs,” “Run” and “Bad Hair,” Disney will use 20th Century Studios and Searchlight to create original movies exclusively for Hulu.
The platform will also be host to a show called “Only Murders in the Building” starring Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez as well as “The Dropout,” a show about Elizabeth Holmes starring Kate McKinnon.
There is also a limited series called “Dopesick” featuring Michael Keaton, Rosario Dawson and Peter Sarsgaard.
David E. Kelley, the writer behind “Big Little Lies” and “Ally McBeal” is heading up a show called “Nine Perfect Strangers” for Hulu that stars Nicole Kidman, Melissa McCarthy and Regina Hall.
The streaming platform will also have new seasons of “Ramy,” “The Great” and “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
On Thursday, the company said it had 11.5 million ESPN+ subscribers.
Disney has secured a deal with the SEC to add the Southeastern Conference to ESPN+ starting with the 2024 season. ABC will also become the home for Saturday afternoon games in 2024.
The company is also going to lean into sports betting in an effort to reach younger audiences.
The platform has also given Steve A. Smith getting his own ESPN+ show and is bringing back “Peyton’s Places” for a second season.
This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.
Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of CNBC.