Disney Admits Defeat Over Disney+ Streaming Goals

Disney+ subscription goals
Credit: Disney

The Walt Disney Company set out for truly ambitious streaming subscription numbers by 2024. While the COVID-19 pandemic caused a surge in popularity on its Disney+ platform, the company didn’t anticipate the fall that would happen after the global disaster subsided. Disney is now taking the stage to tell everyone, “just kidding,” and altering the deal. Pray it doesn’t alter it further.

Disney streaming costs

Credit: Disney

Disney+ Subscription Goals

In a significant shift, Disney has announced a revision to its subscription goals for its Disney+ streaming service. Then-CEO Bob Chapak originally set the company’s ambition to reach 215 million to 245 million subscribers by 2024. However, this has been reevaluated due to various challenges the platform faces. While Disney+ initially enjoyed impressive growth, recent setbacks have prompted a more cautious approach.

disney plus hotstar india free cricket

Credit: Thomas Hawk, Flickr; Disney

A Change in India

One of the key factors contributing to this revision is the loss of subscribers in one of its largest markets, India. Disney’s acquisition of Hotstar in 2019 was a strategic move to tap into the vast Indian market. However, when rival JioCinema secured the streaming rights for the highly popular Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket matches and offered them free to subscribers, Disney+ Hotstar experienced a substantial exodus of users. Reports suggest that Disney+ Hotstar lost around 21 million users after this shift, which is a huge blow to its goals.

Disney Q3 streaming earnings

Credit: Disney

A Challenging Industry

Moreover, Disney+ has been grappling with challenges beyond India. The platform has faced customer attrition due to price increases and shifting market dynamics. Bloomberg has reported that management at Disney has acknowledged that it will likely fall short of the previously ambitious subscriber targets. While specific numbers have not been disclosed, it’s evident that Disney is taking a more pragmatic approach to its streaming ambitions.

This move aligns with industry trends, as Disney follows in the footsteps of streaming giant Netflix, which also opted to cease providing subscriber forecasts. Instead, both companies focus on making the platforms profitable with fewer subscribers. In recent quarters, Disney has substantially raised the subscription cost multiple times. The company also introduced an ad-supported option and additional tiers with higher prices for those who didn’t want to see ads.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom for the House of Mouse. Disney recently announced its Disney+ platform has 146.1 million subscribers, which will most likely grow soon. This is due to an agreement reached with Charter Communications to provide the ad-supported tier of Disney+ to Spectrum TV cable subscriptions at no additional cost.

The streaming wars have continued to be brutal for Disney. The oversaturation of the market and the company’s struggle to provide quality content have caused many to check out. Here’s hoping it can find its magic again. However, it still has a long way to go to win back the masses.

About Michael Stoyanoff

Michael is a Disney fan with an entertainment background and passion for writing. Living in Orlando, he has been around the theme parks for over a decade. In his free time he enjoys running, playing video games, and traveling the world. He also loves hanging out with his dog, Mr. Pippers the Pug.

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