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Speculation: Is Disney Preparing for Heavy Streaming Subscriber Drop Off?

Disney Plus
Credit: Disney

The Walt Disney Company’s second fiscal quarter of 2022 ended on April 2. The beef between Disney and Florida’s State Government, which has sparked outrage from fans, Cast Members, and politicians alike, began in the last week of March. So when Disney CEO Bob Chapek and CFO Christine McCarthy addressed investors on the quarterly earnings webcast, there was no mention of the supposed decline in Disney+ subscribers and Annual Passholders. Because all of the cancellations that were actually realized were not yet reported.

Protest at Disneyland

Credit: @DrewHLive; Turning Point, USA

However, some of the things Mr. Chapek said during the webcast seemed to suggest, at least to this reporter, that the company is prepared to absorb a shakeup in subscriber numbers–possibly even offsetting the potential domestic losses altogether.

Disney+’s True Subscribership

Disney Plus Parental Controls

Credit: Disney

Related: ‘Disney Adults’ Are on the Rise as Disney World Becomes a Top Destination for Gen Z

Disney+ and Disney’s streaming endeavors have become cornerstones of the company’s future. But it was assumed by many–including this reporter–that the change in medium and content would still be directed towards the same Disney audience as before: American kids and families. That no longer appears to be the case. There are others to fill the gaps.

After an uproar across social media from parents declaring that they were no longer going to let their kids watch Disney+, Mr. Chapek made it clear multiple times throughout the webcast that ~50% of Disney+ subscribers are, in fact, households of adults with no kids. And while the uproar against Disney’s “woke” direction appears to be just in the United States, Mr. Chapek stressed the global nature of the company and told investors that Disney+ would be launching in 53 new markets in the third fiscal quarter.

Bob Chapek

Disney CEO Bob Chapek Credit: Disney

Related: Disney Spent $1 Billion to Cancel Contracts, Get Content to Disney+ Faster

The quarterly earnings report also shows that international Disney+ Subscriptions and Disney+ Hotstar Subscriptions account for more than 2/3 of total subscribers, and Mr. Chapek stressed the significance that Disney continues to produce original local content for these new markets around the world. Could Disney be planning on leaning on its international markets and childless adult subscribers in order to stem tide of protests? At this point, only time will tell.

Click here to listen to the full webcast for yourself.

It should be noted that this article is pure speculation and should be viewed as such. If any official word from Disney comes in reaction to the wave of protest cancellations, we at Disney Fanatic will be ready to update our readers as those developments come to light.

In the meantime, Disney’s streaming platform will continue to be home to Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, National Geographic, and Marvel Studios movies and television shows as well as select content from 20th Century Studios (formerly 20th Century Fox) like Free Guy and West Side Story. Marvel’s latest Disney Plus Original TV show Moon Knight Starring Oscar Isaac is currently streaming, and the highly anticipated Star Wars series Obi-Wan Kenobi debuts exclusively on the streaming service on May 27.

About T.K. Bosacki

Born and raised in Tampa, Florida, TK Bosacki is a professional writer, amateur adventurer, and lifelong Disney Fanatic. His Disney Park days include Space Mountain, Tower of Terror, Kilimanjaro Safaris, and Nomad Lounge. He believes in starting at the Canada pavilion (IYKYK), and the Monorail is superior to all Ferry Boats.

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