Disney + added 7.9 million subscribers to a total of 138 million worldwide in the most recent quarter, the company announced on Wednesday, helping it avoid the slowdown in streaming that has recently hit Netflix stock prices. Has been reduced.
Like most media companies, Disney’s stock has plummeted following Netflix’s announcement last month that it lost 200,000 subscribers in the first three months of the year and expects to lose another 2 million this quarter. Is. After years of praising media companies for losing billions on streaming, investors are now pushing for profit.
The release of movies like Pixar’s “Turning Red” helped Disney + attract subscribers in the first quarter ending April 2. Shares of Disney fell nearly 3% in trading hours after the earnings announcement.
Disney’s findings are good news for Bob Chapick, chief executive, who is tackling the public relations crisis caused by the company’s response to Florida school legislation, which, among other things, includes sexual orientation and gender. Restricts discussion in the classroom about identity. (Disney is the largest private employer in the state.)
The company initially refrained from speaking out against the bill, but turned itself in after an internal uprising. Mr Chapek then condemned the legislation, which angered conservatives, including Florida Governor Ron de Santes. Last month, Republican lawmakers in Florida repealed a 1967 law allowing Walt Disney World to act as its paramilitary. In the wake of the uproar, Geoff Morrell, who joined Disney in January as its most senior public relations and communications executive, resigned last month.
Race for rule on streaming TV
Disney’s revenue rose 23% year-on-year to .2 19.2 billion, but fell short of analysts’ expectations. Disney said it was impressed by the decision to withdraw some of its content from other distributors in favor of its own channels, which meant a $ 1 billion reduction in licensing revenue to offset its direct growth. As part of the trade. Consumer business.
Disney reported earnings per share of $ 1.08, falling short of analyst expectations of 17 1.17.
Disney’s Theme Parks unit roared back a year ago, when the CoVID-19 epidemic stopped personal attendance. Revenue in the division doubled over the same period last year, with an increase in driving a new line-skipping system.
As streaming services are looking for more subscribers, India is becoming an important market. Deep pocket media companies are preparing to bid for the rights to show cricket matches from the popular Indian Premier League. Disney currently has the rights to stream matches on its Hotstar service, which it acquired with 21st Century Fox in its 2019 Magadale. Losing these rights can be a shock. However, Mr Chapek said Disney could reach its customers’ goals even if they did not retain those rights.
In a call following the announcement of the earnings, Mr Chapick said Disney would eventually be more aggressive about moving major live games to the ESPN + streaming service. Mr Chapek said the cash generated from ESPN’s lucrative portfolio of cable channels currently makes it unaffordable, so the company is adopting a measurable approach to sports broadcasting.
“All we’re doing is putting one foot on the dock, and one foot on the boat, if you want,” said Mr Chapek.
Mr Chapek also answered an analyst’s question about the lack of new Disney films in the Chinese theater market, where the company has had an unequal record in recent years. Mr Chapick said Disney films were doing well in China without the help of moviegoers, pointing to the success of “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”.
“We are convinced that even without China – even if we had a hard time getting the title there – it would not really stop us from succeeding,” Mr Chapek said.