Disney+ was launched in late 2019 and it primarily offers films and television series from Disney’s library, including content from its subsidiaries Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic and more. On June 2021, Disney+ came to Malaysia as Disney+ Hotstar, which combines local and third-party studio content.
According to TechCrunch, Disney released its first-quarter 2023 earnings report yesterday, revealing that its global Disney+ subscriber base has decreased from 164.2 million to 161.8 million, marking the first time the streaming platform has seen a loss of subscribers since it launched in 2019.
The primary cause of this decrease was a drop in the number of Disney+ Hotstar subscribers, which serves India and certain regions of Southeast Asia, falling from 61.3 million to 57.5 million. Although, Disney+ saw a slight increase in subscribers in the U.S. and Canada, with 200,000 new subscribers, this is just a minor increase.
These earnings results put Disney+’s goal of reaching between 215 million to 245 million subscribers by 2024 into doubt. Right now, Netflix’s position as the leading streaming service with over 230 million global subscribers remains unchallenged.
Last year December, Disney+ subscription fee went up and analysts predict that Disney was going to lose three million subs.
In addition, Disney aims to save costs by USD5.5 billion, including USD3 billion in content-related reductions. Bob Iger, Disney’s CEO disclosed during the earnings call that the company is preparing a massive restructure, including job cutbacks, as part of Disney’s drive to make its streaming business successful. It’s expected 7,000 workers will be affected by this.
The word on the street is that Disney is planning to licence its films and TV series rights to its rivals to stem the losses of its streaming service.