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Disney tops Netflix in streaming subscribers, raises prices for ad-free options

Disney+ with ads will cost $7.99 per month, the same price the company now charges for the ad-free version.

August 11, 2022 10:21 am | Updated 12:16 pm IST

This photo shows the logo of the US video on demand application Disney+ on the screen of a phone

This photo shows the logo of the US video on demand application Disney+ on the screen of a phone | Photo Credit: MARTIN BUREAU

Walt Disney Co edged past Netflix Inc with a total of 221 million streaming subscribers at the end of the most recent quarter and announced it will launch a Disney+ option with advertising this December.

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Disney+ with ads will cost $7.99 per month, the same price the company now charges for the ad-free version, Disney said in a statement on Wednesday. The cost of Disney+ without ads will increase by $3 per month to $10.99 as of Dec. 8.

Prices for Hulu, also owned by Disney, will rise by $1 to $2 per month depending on the plan.

Disney in 2017 staked its future on building a streaming service to rival Netflix as audiences moved to online viewing from traditional cable and broadcast television.

In the just-ended quarter, Disney added 14.4 million Disney+ customers, beating the consensus of 10 million expected by analysts polled by FactSet, as it released "Star Wars" series "Obi-Wan Kenobi" and Marvel's "Ms. Marvel."

Combined with Hulu and ESPN+, Disney said it had 221.1 million streaming subscribers at the end of the June quarter. Netflix said it had 220.7 million streaming subscribers.

Disney posted adjusted earnings-per-share of $1.09, up 36% from a year earlier, as visitors packed its theme parks. Operating income more than doubled at the parks, experiences and products division to $3.6 billion.

Disney's streaming effort is still losing money, reporting a loss of $1.1 billion for the quarter. That put a drag on the media and entertainment unit, whose profit declined by 32% to nearly $1.4 billion.

Overall revenue rose 26% from a year earlier to $21.5 billion. A consensus of analysts polled by Refinitiv had projected revenue of $20.96 billion.

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