Disney plans to raise its content spending by $8 billion in 2022

Disney revealed last week that it expects its total content budget will increase by $8 billion year over year, reaching a total of $33 billion.

According to a 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, that projected figure covers produced and licensed content including sports rights. Disney said the increase is driven by higher spending to support its direct-to-consumers services including Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+, and assumes there won’t be any significant production disruptions due to COVID-19.

Earlier this month, Disney provided an updated look at the content is has coming from each of its brands including Walt Disney Animation Studios’ first-ever animated series, “Baymax,” and “Moon Knight,” a new Marvel series coming to Disney+ next year. According to Variety, Disney plans to release approximately 50 titles for streaming and theatrical release during fiscal 2022.

For Disney’s fiscal 2021, which ended October 2, content spending totaled $25.26 billion and was nearly split evenly between produced and licensed content.

RELATED: Disney+ jazzes up its user experience to celebrate anniversary

According to Ampere Analysis, Disney exceeded 100 million streaming subscribers in the U.S. for the first time early in the fourth quarter, roughly two years after the company topped the 50 million U.S. subscriber mark. The firm estimates that Disney’s domestic subscriber base across Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ will reach around 108 million by the end of the year, up from approximately 99 million at the end of the third quarter.

"The Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ bundle, which offers an $8 per month saving on taking the services individually, is a strong driver for Disney’s overall streaming growth in the U.S., particularly for ESPN+. A strong content portfolio from Disney+ and Hulu, making the most of its key Marvel and Star Wars franchises (on Disney+) and FX (on Hulu), as well as the continuation of live sports (on ESPN+) has further driven subscription growth this year. Additionally, the plan to incorporate Disney+ and ESPN+ subscriptions—alongside Hulu’s SVOD service—with a Hulu TV contract from next month will further push the domestic US subscriber base of the three services, reaching around 108 million subscriptions by the end of the year. Reports suggest that NBCUniversal is considering moving content from Hulu to Peacock in 2022, but because of the combination of attractive bundled pricing, alongside a strong slate of original content scheduled for release in 2022 across Disney+ and Hulu, Ampere expects the combined suite to experience growth beyond 2021,” said Toby Holleran, research manager at Ampere Analysis, in a statement.