Disney Plus hits almost 29M subscribers in 3 months

Disney Plus hits almost 29M subscribers in 3 months”

During the quarter, Disney says its direct to consumer and worldwide business (which includes streaming) saw revenue increase from $0.9 billion to $4.0 billion year-over-year, while the unit's operating loss increased from $136 million to $693 million.

On the earnings call, Iger teased that there will be more Mandalorian after season 2 and that Disney Plus is looking into spinning off characters from the standout Star Wars series.

Iger also gave an update on Disney Plus subscription sign-ups and it was very good news for the company. "Thanks to our incredible collection of brands, outstanding content from our creative engines and state-of-the-art technology, we believe our direct-to-consumer services, including Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu, position us well for continued growth in today's dynamic media environment". Disney+ also had a promotional tie-in with Verizon Communications Inc. The stock advanced 2.4% to $144.73 at the close in NY and is up nearly 30% in the past 12 months.

"We had a strong first quarter, highlighted by the launch of Disney+, which has exceeded even our greatest expectations", Disney CEO Robert Iger said.

Overall revenue rose 36% to $20.86 billion, beating estimate of $20.79 billion according to IBES data from Refinitiv. The number was well above the 20.8 million subscribers projected by the Bloomberg Consensus, and has since jumped to 28.6 million, Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger said Tuesday.

The drop in profit reflects costs from the company's $71 billion purchase of Fox's entertainment assets a year ago, as well as the ongoing investment in movies and TV shows for streaming.

The company's shares rose 1.3% to $146.72 in trading after the bell.

Profit at the theme parks division grew 8.6 per cent in the quarter, but Disney is now facing a new threat to its tourist business from the coronavirus.

The company has closed its Shanghai and Hong Kong park due to the outbreak.

Among those subscribers are Verizon customers, who received a free year, as well as bundle customers (people who get Disney Plus, Hulu and ESPN Plus). That countered higher costs for sports rights and fewer subscribers at ESPN.

"The quarter itself, it really seemed fairly positive", he said.

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