Amidst strong growth for its streaming platforms and with price increases to come for most streaming offerings, Disney+ says its highly anticipated advertising-supported streaming option will start December 8 with a price tag of $7.99 a month.
Disney+ grew 31% to 152.1 million subscribers globally, while ESPN+ was up by 53% to 22.8 million and Hulu (subscription video-on-demand and Hulu + Live TV) added 8% to 46.2 million.
Total global streaming subscribers are now at 221.1 million. Disney+ is now in 44.5 million homes in the U.S. and Canada.
Disney also announced consumer price hikes for its streaming platforms.
The Disney+ platform (with no ads) will climb 38% to $10.99 a month (up from $7.99).
Starting in October of this year, Hulu (with ads) will be 42% higher to $9.99 (up from $6.99); Hulu with no ads will be 15% higher to $14.99 (from $12.99).
Disney previously announced that ESPN+ will be now be 42% higher to $9.99 (up from $6.99);
Also, for the "Disney Bundle" there will be now four different price points:
- $9.99. A "basic’ package for just two streamers, Disney+ and Hulu (with ads)
- $12.99. Another ‘basic" package for Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ -- all with ads.
- $14.99. For existing subscribers, featuring Disney+ (no ads) but ads for Hulu and ESPN+.
- $19.99. The "premium" bundle which features Disney+ and Hulu with no ads, but with ads for ESPN+.
The previous Disney Bundle for existing subscribers had been priced at $13.99. The only product that has not changed is with the premium Disney Bundle at $19.99.
But the big news for Disney's fiscal third quarter is its soaring theme parks/experiences revenues -- up a massive 70% to $7.4 billion, mostly because pandemic-related disruptions and restrictions have eased.
For Disney Media/Entertainment Distribution, revenues grew 11% to $14.1 billion.
A big part of this group is the heavily analyzed direct-to-consumer (D2C) businesses -- including all streaming/CTV platforms -- which grew a hefty 19% to $5.1 billion. But at the same time, operating losses for the D2C business tripled -- now at $1.1 billion up from $293 million in the prior-year period.
Linear TV networks -- U.S. and internationally -- grew more slowly -- 3% to $7.2 billion. The company posted a 13% rise in operating income to $2.5 billion.
For its U.S. cable networks -- ESPN especially -- advertising revenue was higher, due to the timing of the NBA Finals, which aired in its recent third fiscal quarter reporting period versus the fourth fiscal quarter of the prior year. This was due to a delayed NBA regular season start stemming from the pandemic.
For broadcasting, ABC Television Network had lower ad revenues due to the timing of the Academy Awards and a decrease in viewers.
Overall, Disney revenue grew 26% to $21.5 billion, with net income from continuing operations 53% higher to $1.4 billion.
Disney stock gained 7% in after-market trading to $120.07.