Disney+ adds 7.9M subscribers to reach 137.7M

The Walt Disney Company brought in 7.9 million Disney+ subscribers in its second fiscal quarter of 2022, driving the company’s total direct-to-consumer tally to more than 205 million.

As of April 2 Disney+ had 87.6 million domestic and international subscribers, including 44.4 million paid subscribers in U.S. and Canada (an increase of 19%) and 43.2 million international subs. Total Disney+ subscribers, including Disney+ Hotstar in India, now stand at 137.7 million.

ESPN+ ended the quarter with 22.3 million subscribers, a more than 60% increase from the 13.8 million at the end of April 2021.

Disney also has a majority stake in Hulu, which ended the period with 45.6 million subscribers, including 41.4 million for SVOD only, and 4.1 million for Hulu Live TV + SVOD. In the quarter, Hulu added 300,000 subscribers while ESPN+ added 1 million.

The DTC growth, alongside strong performance at U.S. theme parks, “once again proved that we are in a league of our own,” said Disney CEO Bob Chapek in a statement.

“As we look ahead to Disney’s second century, I am confident we will continue to transform entertainment by combining extraordinary storytelling with innovative technology to create an even larger, more connected, and more magical Disney universe for families and fans around the world,” Chapek continued.

In the quarter, ended April 2, Disney recorded $19.25 billion in total revenue, up 23% year over year.  That revenue growth came despite a $1 billion hit for the amount it owed to a customer to terminate film and TV content licenses agreements early, so that Disney could use the content mainly on its direct-to-consumer services.

Operating income for the quarter was up 50% to $3.69 billion, while net income was down 48% to $470 million.

Specifically in the streaming space, direct-to-consumer revenues were up 23% to $4.9 billion, while operating losses reached $887 million, around $600 million worse than the same quarter a year ago. Disney attributed the increased operating loss to higher losses at Disney+ and ESPN+, along with lower operating income at Hulu.

Lower results at Disney+ were attributed to higher costs for programming, production, marketing and technology, which were partially offset by higher subscription revenue thanks to customer growth and retail price raise.

Disney’s linear networks segment, meanwhile, generated $7.12 billion in revenue, up 5%, while operating income was down 1% to $2.81 billion.

Total revenue for the Disney Media and Entertainment and Distribution segment grew 9% since the year ago period to $13.62 billion, as operating income declined 32% to $1.94 billion.