The direct-to-consumer and international segment at The Walt Disney Company posted a 41 percent increase in Q4 revenues to $4.9 billion as Disney+ topped 73 million subs.
Total revenues at the company were down by 23 percent to $14.7 billion, with a net loss of $710 million, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take a toll on its parks, experiences and products and studio entertainment segments.
“Even with the disruption caused by COVID-19, we’ve been able to effectively manage our businesses while also taking bold, deliberate steps to position our company for greater long-term growth,” said Bob Chapek, CEO. “The real bright spot has been our direct-to-consumer business, which is key to the future of our company, and on this anniversary of the launch of Disney+ we’re pleased to report that, as of the end of the fourth quarter, the service had more than 73 million paid subscribers—far surpassing our expectations in just its first year.”
The DTC and international segment narrowed its year-ago loss of $751 million to $580 million, due to improved results at Hulu and ESPN+, partially offset by higher costs at Disney+ as it continues to expand, and a decrease at the international channels. As at the end of Q4, Disney+ had 73.7 million subs, Hulu 36.6 million (32.5 million for SVOD only and 4.1 million for live TV and SVOD) and ESPN+ 10.3 million.
Media networks revenues were up 11 percent to $7.2 billion, with segment operating income rising by 5 percent to $1.9 billion. The cable networks were up 11 percent to $4.7 billion, with improved ad revenues at ESPN and the licensing of Disney Channel library titles to Disney+. Broadcasting revenues were up 10 percent to $2.5 billion.
Studio entertainment revenues fell by 52 percent to $1.6 billion, with no major worldwide theatrical releases in the period and lower home-entertainment results.
Parks, experiences and products were down 61 percent to $2.6 billion due to continued closures or resorts opening at limited capacity.