Announcing its first-quarter results, The Walt Disney Company revealed that the Disney+ subscriber count had reached 94.9 million by the beginning of January.
Overall revenues at the company were down 22 percent to $16.2 billion amid the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, with net income from continuing operations plummeting to $29 million from $2.1 billion in the year-ago period.
“We believe the strategic actions we’re taking to transform our company will fuel our growth and enhance shareholder value, as demonstrated by the incredible strides we’ve made in our DTC business, reaching more than 146 million total paid subscriptions across our streaming services at the end of the quarter,” said Bob Chapek, CEO of The Walt Disney Company. “We’re confident that, with our robust pipeline of exceptional, high-quality content and the upcoming launch of our new Star-branded international general entertainment offering, we are well-positioned to achieve even greater success going forward.”
At the Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution segment, which encompasses linear networks, direct-to-consumer and content sales, total revenues were down 5 percent to $12.7 billion. Linear networks were up slightly, to $7.7 billion, delivering an operating income that was 4 percent lower at $1.7 billion. The domestic channels ticked up by 1 percent to $6.1 billion, while international channel revenues gained 5 percent to $1.6 billion. Direct-to-consumer revenues rose 73 percent to $3.4 billion and the segment narrowed its loss to $466 million. As of January 2, 2021, the subscriber counts at the company’s streaming assets stood at 94.9 million at Disney+, 12.1 million at ESPN+, 35.4 million for Hulu SVOD and 4 million for Hulu’s live TV and SVOD offer. Content licensing revenues fell 56 percent to $1.7 billion and operating income was down 76 percent to $188 million. This segment was impacted by continued theater closures and the shift from licensing content to third parties to distribution on its own services.
The Disney Parks, Experiences and Products segment saw revenues drop 53 percent to $3.6 billion. The business posted a loss of $119 million in the quarter. Domestic parks revenues fell 70 percent and international 60 percent, while consumer products revenues were up 2 percent.