The big picture: Both Netflix and Disney+ saw subscriber growth slow in the first quarter of 2021, no doubt a byproduct of the unexpected surge in new members last year during the rise of Covid-19. With the global pandemic seemingly winding down, it only makes sense that growth would taper accordingly.
Disney finished its most recent quarter with 103.6 million paid Disney+ subscribers, an increase of 8.7 million customers compared to the previous quarter and up from just 33.5 million total subscribers around the same time last year.
Despite what appears to be solid growth, Wall Street was expecting more. As Variety reports, analysts told FactSet they were expecting Disney+ to finish with around 109.3 million subscribers.
Disney’s recent $1 price hike for its flagship streaming service might have factored into the platform’s performance.
The company’s other streaming platforms also managed respectable growth. ESPN+ finished the period ending April 3 with 13.8 million subscribers, up from 7.9 million a year ago, while Hulu reached 41.6 million subscribers, good for a 30 percent increase year over year. Among Hulu subscribers, only 3.8 million opted for the Live TV+ SVOD bundle.
In comparison, Netflix finished its most recent quarter with 207.64 million subscribers worldwide. Disney’s total subscriber base across all three of its streaming platforms totals 159 million.
Image credit Ivan Marc, Daniel Constante