Disney beats Netflix in subscribers and raises prices

The Walt Disney Company surpassed Netflix with a total of 221 million subscribers, and announced that it would raise prices for subscribers wishing to watch content on the Disney+ or Hulu platforms without commercial ads.

The media giant will raise the monthly cost of its ad-free Disney+ service by 38 percent to $10.99 in December when it begins rolling out a new option that includes ads at current prices.

Disney shares rose 6.9 percent in after-hours trading to $120.15 on Wednesday. In 2017, Disney bet its future on launching a streaming service that would compete with Netflix, as audiences moved to online viewing instead of pay-TV channels and broadcast television.

Five years later, “Disney” surpassed “Netflix” in the number of broadcast subscribers. The company succeeded in attracting 14.4 million subscribers to the “Disney +” service, exceeding the average expectations of analysts in a survey conducted by “FactSet” with the number of subscribers reaching ten million after the broadcast of the “Star Wars” and “Miss Marvel” series.

In total, Disney reported that the number of subscribers to its broadcast services, which includes “Disney +”, “Hulu” and “ESBN +”, reached 221.1 million subscribers at the end of the quarter ending in June.

On the other hand, “Netflix” reported that the number of its subscribers reached 220.7 million.

To attract new customers, Disney will release an ad-free version of its broadcast version on December 8 for $7.99 a month, the same price as the current ad-free version.

Hulu will raise prices by a dollar or two in December, depending on the subscription plan.

Disney now expects the number of Disney+ subscribers to reach between 215 and 245 million by the end of September 2024, down from between 230 and 260 million previously forecast.

In the quarter ended July 2, Disney posted adjusted earnings of $1.09 per share, up 36 percent year-over-year as visitors flocked to its theme parks.

The company’s total profit rose 26 percent year-on-year to $21.5 billion, exceeding analyst expectations of $20.96 billion.

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