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For The First Time In Its Brief History, Disney+ Has Reported A Loss Of (Uh, A Lot Of) Subscribers

Like the world of late night TV, streamers are in a state of chaos. Paramount+ is absorbing Showtime, which meant the end to certain shows. HBO Max jettisoned a bunch of content, including hundreds of Looney Tunes classics. Even Netflix, the one that started it all, spent last year hemorrhaging subscribers. Now it’s Disney+’s turn to suffer.

As per Variety, in the last three months of 2022, the family friendly(-ish) streamer lost a whopping 2.4 million subscribers. For some context, when Netflix made news for a mass exodus of subscribers, the number was “only” about one million.

That means Disney, with its newly returned CEO Bob Iger, will have to make like the other major streamers and enact some big, possibly ground-shaking changes. Indeed, Iger vowed that there would be a “significant transformation,” which sounds ominous. Does that mean they’ll do what HBO Max has done and remove a bunch of big titles so they can license them out? Will subscribers no longer have the option to watch the legendarily poor 1971 live-action Dean Jones comedy Million Dollar Duck whenever their hearts desire?

Mind you, Disney+ didn’t lose subscribers in North America. In fact, they actually gained about 200,000 of them, bringing the total to 46.6 million. Here’s what really happened:

The drop in Disney+ subscribers — which was bigger than analysts expected — was entirely driven by a 3.8 million sequential decline Disney+ Hotstar, the version of the service offered in India and parts of Southeast Asia, to stand at 161.8 million at the end of 2022.

The news isn’t all bad for the mega-corporation that owns the likes of Marvel, Star Wars, Avatar, The Simpsons, etc., etc., etc. Overall, Disney’s quarterly earnings actually topped Wall Street estimates, up 8% from the previous quarter with $23.51 billion. That’s partly thanks to their parks and “experiences,” which had a 21% rise in revenue, rising to $8.7 billion, with operating income rising 25% to $3.1 billion.

Still, the news of Iger doing some belt-tightening is grim for Disney+ subscribers who like having a place they can always watch the Muppets thwarting a heist by Charles Grodin.

(Via Variety)