Disney is hiking streaming pricing across the board due to dwindling customer numbers. This is the company’s second price hike in a year, after raising Disney+ and Hulu membership fees last year.
A convenient collection of Dinsey’s news pricing hikes:
Disney+ (ad-free): $13.99/month from $10.99/month
Hulu (ad-free): $17.99/month from $14.99/month
ESPN+ (with ads): $10.99/month from $9.99/month
Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ (ad-supported): $14.99 from $12.99
Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ (with ads): $24.99 from $19.99.
The company is also offering a $19.99/month ad-free Disney+/Hulu combo. Both services will charge $7.99 per month for ad-supported tiers. Disney said the increased tariffs will take effect on October 12.
Disney+’s U.S. and Canadian subscriber bases dropped from 46.3 million to 46.0 million in three months. Disney+ Hotstar lost the most subscribers in India, from 52.9 million to 40.4 million. The corporation lost digital rights to stream the IPL cricket event, which was the main reason. Jio Cinema streamed the IPL for free to entice users. Hotstar has confirmed a similar move for the October ODI World Cup.
After returning to the firm last year, CEO Bob Iger told investors that the Hotstar subscriber reduction is “not a material component of our overall D2C financial results” because the service in India earns less per user than Disney+.
Iger also said the company is expanding its ad-supported service to Canada and Europe. To compete with Netflix, the company debuted the U.S. ad-fueled tier last December.
“I’m pleased to share that our ad-supported Disney+ subscription offerings will become available in Canada and in select markets across Europe, beginning November 1st, while a new ad-free bundled subscription plan featuring Disney+ and Hulu will be available in the U.S,” he said during the earnings call
Disney announced a $2 billion deal with Penn Entertainment to rebrand its sportsbook, ESPN and BET yesterday. ESPN is also seeking digital distribution and technology partners to go direct to customers, Iger said.
When ESPN flagship networks go direct-to-consumer, as given. The team is examining pricing, timing, and other aspects of this decision. Even as cord-cutting has increased, ESPN’s primary linear channel ratings have increased, he noted.
Disney’s revenue rose 4% to $22.33 billion. Wall Street expected $22.53 billion for the June quarter, but it fell short.