Disney Plus and Hulu have achieved a significant milestone by turning a profit for the first time. In Disney’s recent earnings report, it was revealed that the combined streaming services made $47 million in profit this quarter. This is a massive improvement from the $587 million loss reported at the same time last year. However, it’s important to note that ESPN Plus still reported a loss of $65 million, which resulted in a combined streaming earnings deficit of $18 million.

Despite the mixed results, Disney remains optimistic about the future profitability of its streaming business. CEO Bob Iger stated during the earnings call that the company expects its streaming business to become profitable by the fourth quarter of this year. The company views streaming as a key growth driver moving forward and is heavily investing in this area.

Over the past few months, Disney Plus has added 7.9 million subscribers in the US and Canada, bringing the total number of subscribers to 54 million. The company recently launched a combined Disney Plus and Hulu app, with plans to integrate ESPN Plus into the app as well. This move will give all subscribers access to select live games and studio programming within the app.

Factors Contributing to Success

While Disney did not specify the exact reasons for the turnaround in its streaming business, it is believed that the growth of its ad-supported tier played a significant role. The company introduced a $7.99 per month ad-supported option in December 2022, and has been actively promoting this tier to subscribers. This strategy has proven successful, with the ad-supported tier ending the quarter with 22.5 million subscribers.

Future Plans

Looking ahead, Disney has ambitious plans for its streaming services. The company intends to launch a standalone ESPN streaming service in the fall of 2025, as well as a dedicated sports streaming service in partnership with Warner Bros. Discovery and Fox later this year. These initiatives aim to further expand Disney’s presence in the streaming market and capitalize on the growing demand for digital content.


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