Disney shares fell by 7 percent yesterday after the firm disclosed an abrupt decrease in the number of new members to its streaming service Disney+ on Wednesday.
Following the addition of twelve, nine, and twenty one million subscribers in the previous three quarters, analysts predicted that the Dory avatar profiles would continue to pour in for the booming streaming service, anticipating an additional 10 million new users in the fourth quarter. In contrast, Disney+ only attracted 2.1 million new subscribers in the most recent quarter of the year.
The new results raise Disney+’s total number of subscribers to 118.1 million, placing it second only to Netflix’s 213.5 million.
In order for Disney to reach its aim of 260 million subscribers by 2024, the company will have to fight an uphill struggle.
However, don’t expect fewer Loki episodes in the future: CEO Bob Chapek assured investors that the company is still moving forward at full speed. Walt Disney Company plans to raise its funding in the streaming service above and beyond the expected $8–$9 billion it announced in December 2017.
The decline in subscription numbers is not exclusive to Disney.
It appears as though the streaming market in the United States has nearly achieved saturation.
Only 88,000 new Netflix subscribers have signed up in the United States and Canada this year (down from 6 million in 2020 and 3 million in 2019)—and this is during the run of Netflix’s most popular show ever, Squid Game, as well as the reign of Giuseppe and Jürgen on Bake Off.
HBO Max added 570,000 new members in the United States in the fourth quarter, down from 2.4 million and 2.8 million in the two preceding quarters.
What about Peacock? Comcast isn’t even interested in talking about it.
What should I do? Some observers believe that Disney needs a complete rethink and that it should look outside its popular brands such as Marvel, which need more money and time to develop. And perhaps it simply requires better content creation. According to a Barclays report, while Disney+ material is well-received by members, the streaming service trails behind competitors in terms of the number of highly rated shows available to customers.
As Disney celebrates its streaming service’s second anniversary today with Disney+ Day, we’ll learn more about the platform’s new content schedule and other announcements.