October 16, 2021

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Disney Plus subscriber growth to slow in September quarter, CEO says

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Disney Plus Global Paid Subscribers will grow to “low single digit subscribers” for the quarter ending September 2021, says Disney CEO Bob Chapek – marking a recession in recent times.

At the Goldman Sachs Communicopia conference on Tuesday, Chapek said the Disney Plus core market (excluding Hotstar) will run both domestically and internationally, “but we’ve made some headway.”

Disney Plus will slow down in the current quarter, revealing pressure after the second-calendar quarter of the year surpassed Wall Street estimates after the revival of live-to-consumer services. Disney Plus received 12.4 million net new subscribers as of July 3, 116 million worldwide.

For Disney Plus, “quarter-to-quarter business is not linear,” Chapek said. “What we’re finding is, as you’ve seen from our last few edges in terms of our earnings, these numbers are a lot more noisy than a straight line.”

Among the causes of the Disney Plus recession in the September 2021 quarter, Chapek cited the effects of covid-induced production delays. That said, he said, the Covid delay is “very short-lived.” Currently, Walt Disney Studios has 1 new movie and 1 series in production, and the Disney TV Group has hundreds of programs.

On November 12, the media association is hosting “Disney Plus Day”, which will see the release of a new wave of content and include new promotional offers for consumers. “It will be the ultimate crescendo of everything magical about the Walt Disney Company, and really start using Disney Plus as this company-based platform that goes beyond a movie service.”

Mouse House raised estimates for Disney Puss late last year: it expects Disney Plus to be among 230 million and 260 million total paid customers by the end of fiscal 2024.

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