Tue, 15 Jun 2021

Disney seeking revenues as streaming service has shortfall

Robert Besser
17 May 2021, 12:41 GMT+10

BURBANK, California: Disney Company's streaming platform failed to register expected growth on May 13, eclipsing higher-than-anticipated gross earnings, witnessing a decline in the shares of the LA-based entertainment heavyweight.

Robert Chapek, the company's chief executive officer, hinted at a resumption in regular production of movie and TV shows, coupled with novel offers expected to increase the customer base to its Hulu, Disney+, Hotstar, and ESPN+.

The company reported adjusted EPS for Q2 to reach 79 cents during the Jan-Apr 3 period, surpassing analyst expectations of 27 cents, as per Refinitiv's IBES information.

Disney is channeling efforts to swiftly grow its streaming service to give Netflix a run for its money, as cable television has been steadily losing popularity among members of the audience. Disney's well-known theme parks are still recovering, with caps on attendance in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

"(Disney+) growth is significantly decelerating as the initial pandemic boost has waned," according to Eric Haggstrom, forecasting analyst at eMarketer.

"Given Disney's content investments, subscriber growth should return strongly once this short-term turbulence ends," the analyst remarked.

Some 103.6 million customer subscriptions to Disney+ were reported by the company, as of the early part of April. "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" and "WandaVision," the duo superhero series of Marvel, made their debut in the quarter. FactSet highlighted analyst projections to reach 109.3 million.

The average revenue per paying customer on a month-to-month basis declined for Disney+ to $3.99, as compared to $5.63, which it attributed to the unveiling of the competitively priced Disney+ Hotstar in the global markets.

Factset's assessments indicated Wall Street's expectations of ARPU of $4.10.

The company intends on launching Disney+ on Jun 1 in Malaysia and the end of June in Thailand, according to information furnished by executives when called by the analyst team.

Refinitiv highlighted that the company's overall revenue plunged 13 percent to reach $15.61 billion in the Q2 ending Apr 3, less than that projected by the analyst team.

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