Disney + Added 7.9 Million Followers Last Quarter

Disney + added 7.9 million subscribers in the recent quarter to a total of 138 million worldwide, the company announced Wednesday, helping to avoid a slowdown in streaming that has recently reduced Netflix stock prices.

Like many media companies, Disney shares have been highlighted after Netflix announced last month that it had lost 200,000 subscribers in the first three months of the year and that it expected to lose two million more this quarter. After years of congratulating media companies for losing billions on streaming, investors are now using pressure to find a way to make a profit.

The release of films such as Pixar’s “Turning Red” helped Disney + attract subscribers in the first quarter, which ended on April 2. Disney shares were down about 3 percent in hourly trading following the revenue announcement.

Disney results are a bit of good news for Bob Chapek, chief executive, who has been dealing with a public relations dispute stemming from the company’s response to Florida school law that, among other things, hinders class discussion of gender orientation and gender identity. (Disney is the government’s largest private employer.)

The company had previously refrained from speaking out against the bill in public but canceled it after internal violence. Then Mr. Chapek criticized the law, which made him hated by conservatives, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Last month, Republican lawmakers in Florida repealed a 1967 law that allowed Walt Disney World to function as its half government. Following the riots, Geoff Morrell, who joined Disney in January as chief executive of government relations and communications, resigned last month.

Revenue at Disney increased by 23 percent compared to last year, to $ 19.2 billion, but they missed the analyst’s expectations. Disney said it took action as a result of the decision to pull some of its content from other distributors in favor of its channels, which meant a reduction of $ 1 billion in licensed revenue as part of the business to directly promote up-to-consumer business.

Disney reported earnings per share of $ 1.08, missing the analyst’s expectations of $ 1.17.

The Disney theme parks retreated from a year ago, when the Covid-19 disaster crippled private attendance. Revenue in this unit doubled compared to the same period last year, with the rise of the new line jump system.

As streaming services seek more users, India is building itself into an important market. Pocket-filled media companies are preparing to bid for the rights to show cricket matches from the famous Indian Premier League. Disney currently has the right to stream matches at its Hotstar service, which it acquired in its 2019 megadeal and 21st Century Fox. Losing those rights can be devastating. However, Mr. Chapek has stated that Disney can achieve customer goals even if it does not protect those rights.

On the phone following the revenue announcement, Mr. Chapek said that eventually Disney will be more aggressive about transferring major games directly to ESPN + streaming service. The money raised by ESPN’s high-profit cable coverage currently makes it impossible, so the company is taking a proven sports streaming method, Mr. Chapek said.

“What we do is put one foot on the dock if you like, and one foot on the boat,” he said. Chapek said.

Bw. Chapek also answered an analyst’s question about the lack of new Disney films that have been released in the Chinese theater market, where the company has had an unequal record in recent years. Bw. Chapek said that Disney films were doing well without the support of moviegoers in China, highlighting the success of “A Wonderful Doctor in a Variety of Madness.”

“We are confident that even without China – as it would be that we continue to have difficulty winning trophies there – that does not hinder our success,” he said. Chapek said.

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