Entertainment giant Disney has seen another jump in subscribers to its Disney+ streaming platform, the flagship of its new strategy, putting even more pressure on Netflix, whose growth is stalling. Disney+ reached 137.7 million subscribers , up 33% year-on-year. Between late December and early April, the Burbank (California) group gained 7.9 million net subscribers to its subscription video service. The figure contrasts with that of its big competitor Netflix, which lost 200,000 accounts over the same period, while the platform had not experienced a decline in more than ten years. Disney expects an increase in subscribers to Disney + on the April-September period compared to the first quarter of its staggered fiscal year, which was October-March, Chief Financial Officer Christine McCarthy said. For its part, Netflix expects to lose two million subscribers during the current quarter compared to the previous one. Within the video, cinema and television branch, online video services remain loss-making and posted an operating loss of $887 million over the quarter. To stimulate the growth of its streaming platforms in particular, the entertainment company plans to devote a total of $ 32 billion to content, including sports, during its fiscal year 2022. 260 million subscribers By adding the ESPN + platforms, specializing in sports, and Hulu, which is more adult-oriented than Disney+, the group had more than 205 million subscriptions at the start of April, even if some users subscribe to a formula which offers the three services at a favorable total price (20 dollars per month compared to 28, in the United States). Chief executive Bob Chapek said Disney is still aiming for a range of 230-260 million Disney+ subscribers by fiscal year 2024 (completed at the end of September 2024), which which could put it ahead of Netflix, which currently has 221 million accounts. It also expects to see streaming become profitable by then. international – like for Netflix then. Bob Chapek also indicated that Disney was already considering offering a streaming version of ESPN that contains all of the sports television network’s programs, and not just a limited selection as is the case for ESPN +. clarified that the transition would not occur in the short term, as Disney still derives considerable revenue from subscriptions to ESPN through traditional cable and satellite television in the United States. In total, the company’s profit stood at $ 597 million, down 46% and significantly below analysts’ expectations. Disney shares fell more than 3% in electronic trading after the close of Wall Street . In the other major activity of the group, the parks, Disney more than doubled its turnover over one year (+109%). It was driven by attendance at Disneyland Paris, which was partially offset by a decline in Hong Kong and Shanghai. Spending per visitor is 40% higher than its level in the same quarter of 2019, i.e. before the pandemic. From January to March, the parks generated operating income almost equivalent to that of video, cinema and television, while they posted a heavy loss last year, due to restrictions linked to the coronavirus. Financial director Christine McCarthy nevertheless warned that the resurgence of the pandemic and the confinements could cut operating income for the current quarter by $ 350 million. The results of the parks as well as television, video and cinema “prove that we are in a class of our own,” said Bob Chapek. In total, the turnover emerged up 23% over one year, to 19.2 billion dollars.
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