Disney + has reached a subscriber base of 94.9 million as of the end of the first quarter of FY21 worldwide, with Disney + Hotstar responsible for a subscriber base of 30%, the company announced in its first quarter FY21 results.
“In fact, Disney + has exceeded our highest expectations in just over a year since its launch, with 94.9 million subscribers at the end of the first fiscal quarter,” Bob Chapek, CEO of the Walt Disney Company said in an earnings call today.
Christine M. McCarthy, Senior Executive Vice President and CFO of The Walt Disney Company, shared that Disney Plus Hotstar represents 30% of the total subscriber base. However, the average monthly revenue per paid subscriber for Disney + dropped from $ 5.56 to $ 4.03 with the launch of Disney + Hotstar.
Speaking about the importance of cricket to Disney + Hotstar and the risk of churn when the IPL season ends, McCarthy explained, “Cricket is a very important part of a diversified programming strategy at Disney Plus Hotstar. But it also includes a lot of other local content that consumers like to watch. “
She added, “We saw a bump when the IPL season started. But we’ve also made it economical for consumers to sign up for a one-year subscription instead of a monthly subscription. Those are some of the things we look at and use to reduce the churn that one might expect from IPL. But it is a more diversified offering in terms of programming than just cricket. “
The Walt Disney Company will also launch Star, an upcoming hub within the Disney + streaming service, in Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore on February 23, 2021.
Chapek said, “We will launch our new Star international general entertainment offering, which will offer thousands of hours of movies and television from the company’s multiple studios, including content from our acquisition of 21st Century Fox, along with exclusive originals from the Star brand and mobile phones. programming tailored to specific markets. “
Star integrates into Disney Plus as a separate six-brand tile and provides easy-to-use parental controls to control access to the content available on Star. “Within two weeks of launch, we are seeing tremendous excitement among consumers. During our investor day presentation, we have an amazingly robust pipeline of original content in development and production. For our full portfolio of streaming services, we have some of the best creative teams in the industry. And that’s reflected in the tremendous appeal of our unparalleled programming, ”said Chapek.
The company today reported earnings for the first fiscal quarter ended January 2, 2021. Diluted earnings per share (EPS) from continuing operations for the quarter decreased 98% from $ 1.17 in the same quarter last year to $ 0 , 02. Diluted earnings per share for the quarter decreased 79% to $ 0.32, compared to $ 1.53 in the same quarter last year.
Results for the quarter ended January 2, 202.1 were negatively impacted by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The most significant impact was in the Disney Parks, Experiences and Products segment, where our parks and resorts have been closed or operating at significantly reduced capacity since the end of the second quarter of fiscal 2020, and our cruise ships have been suspended.
“We believe the strategic actions we take to transform our business will drive our growth and increase shareholder value, as evidenced by the incredible progress we’ve made in our DTC business, with more than 146 million paid subscriptions for our streaming services at the end of the quarter, ”said Chapek.“ We are confident that, with our robust pipeline of exceptional, high-quality content and the imminent launch of our new international Starbranded entertainment offering, we are well positioned to move forward to achieve even more success. “
International Channels revenues for the quarter were up 5% to $ 1.6 billion and operating income declined 3% to $ 375 million. The decline in operating income was driven by higher programming and manufacturing costs and lower branch revenues, partially offset by ad revenue growth and a reduction in non-programming costs. Higher programming and production costs and ad revenue reflected a shift in the timing of cricket matches in the Indian Premier League (IPL) from the third quarter of fiscal 2020 to the first quarter of fiscal 2021 as a result of COVID-19. IPL cricket matches generally take place during our third fiscal quarter. The decrease in the turnover of affiliated companies was mainly due to the closure of channels.
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