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Disney Plus encounters first bump in the road

Analyst Paolo Pescatore tells TVBEurope the drop in subscribers is "disappointing" when considering the streamer's relatively recent launch

Disney’s global direct-to-consumer streaming service Disney Plus has reported a drop in subscribers for the first time since its launch in November 2019.

As part of its Q1 results, Disney revealed the streaming service lost a net 2.4 million subscribers at the end of 2022.

The company attributed the decline to Disney Plus Hotstar, the version of the service available in India and Southeat Asia. It saw a drop 3.8 million subscribers following its loss of the streaming rights to Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket matches.

During the company’s earnings call, chief financial officer Christine McCarthy stated the company was “pleased” with the initial reaction to its new advertising-supported tier, which debuted in the United States in December.

She added that the company does not expect to see a “meaningful impact” from the new tier on its results until later in the year.

Analyst Paolo Pescatore tells TVBEurope the announcement of the drop in subscribers is “disappointing” when considering the streamer’s relatively recent launch.

“There are numerous challenges including the current macro-economic environment and uncertainty with consumer behaviour,” he added. “Other parts of the business also touch consumers in a different, unique way and are performing well. A roller-coaster year awaits all streamers with price rises and users consolidating their telco and media requirements.”