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Disney+Hotstar crosses 50-mn subscription mark, with IPL batting for it

Disney+ recorded nearly 138 million global paid subscribers in Q2 2022, while Disney+Hotstar subscription crossed the 50-million mark.

Overall, Disney+ added 7.9 million subscribers in the quarter.

“With 7.9 million Disney+ subscribers added in the quarter and total subscriptions across all our DTC offerings exceeding 205 million — once again proved that we are in a league of our own,” said Bob Chapek, Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company.

According to Christine McCarthy, Senior Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer, The Walt Disney Company, buoyed by the new IPL season toward the end of the second quarter, a little over half of the net adds for Disney+ were from Disney+ Hotstar. The IPL cricket tournament started on March 26.

Internationally, excluding Disney+ Hotstar, the streaming platform added over 2 million paid subscribers versus the first quarter.

As of April 2, 2022, Disney+Hotstar subscriptions were up 42 per cent year-on-year, at 50.1 million, as per the company’s Q2 earnings report while Disney+ subscription stood at 137.7 million.

Meanwhile, Disney+Hotstar’s monthly average revenue per user (ARPU) stood at $0.76 in the quarter, up 55 per cent from $0.49.

Local original content
“Beyond targeting specific demos, we are equally enthusiastic about our growth potential in international markets. We currently have over 500 local original titles in various stages of development and production,” said Chapek during the company’s earnings call.

“We believe these premium local originals, along with branded content with broad international appeal, will attract new subscribers and drive engagement,” he added.

McCarthy added that the platform had about 500 shows in the pipeline for local content outside the US or English-speaking regions.

As many as 140 of these are in the Asia-Pacific region, including Southeast Asia; 100 are in India.

The company shared updates on its ad-supported tier, which was announced in March.

Disney had said the new tier will roll out in the US in late-2022, and expand internationally in 2023.

“We’re in really good shape in terms of being able to meet our timing with our Disney+ ad tier. And that’s largely because we’re already doing it. The combination of our ESPN+, streaming tech stack and our experience in Hulu and the software, we think that our current advertising capabilities really substantially prepare us to already bring this tier into operations,” said Chapek.

“At this time, we haven’t announced a price point for it,” McCarthy added.

Netflix’s loss
Streaming giant Netflix, on the other hand, had reported a loss of nearly 200,000 subscribers in the January-March quarter. It is expected to lose another 2 million subscribers in Q2 CY22.

The platform may also consider introducing an ad-supported tariff plan.

During the post-earnings call, Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings had said, “I’m a big fan of the simplicity of subscription. But as much as I’m a fan of that, I’m a bigger fan of consumer choice and supporting consumers who would like to have lower prices and are advertising-tolerant to get what they want.”

The company will work that out over the next year or two, he said, adding, “Think of us as quite open to offering even lower prices with advertising.” The Hindu BusinessLine

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