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Disney CEO Projects Lower Q4 2021 Subscriber Numbers

Michael King

Disney CEO Bob Chapek warned on Tuesday afternoon of lower long-term subscriber growth for the fourth quarter for Disney+, definitely muted over the strides made in Q3.

Chapek made the comments during the annual Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference.

During the company’s Q3 earnings call in August, Disney announced that Disney+ added 12.4 million subscribers in Q3 2021 for a total of 116 million overall — that was up from 103.6 million in the second quarter. The continued release of Marvel shows like Loki has provided a steady stream of content, while a combination of Premier Access blockbusters and complementary new Pixar titles kept movie fans satisfied during the summer months.

“We’re (still) very confident about our long-term sub growth as we have been in Q4 (of 2021). I think what you can expect to see is that our global paid subs will increase by low single-digit millions of subscribers versus Q3,” Chapek said on Tuesday. “Our core markets sub growth will continue, both domestically and internationally in Q4 … We hit some headwinds; I already talked about Latin America — again, trying to mobilize the partners (to) get that thing (Star+) going, just like we saw with Disney Plus.”

Star+ launched in Latin America on August 30 as a standalone service, separate from Disney+, but containing much of the same content that Hulu streams in the United States and is included under Star as a marquee of Disney+ in other markets.

Chapek’s forecast is significantly lower than some estimates by Wall Street analysts. CNBC reported that Deutsche Bank analyst Bryan Kraft had projected Disney+ net adds of about 13 million for Q4.

“One thing that I think we’re not exactly aligned with … is the quarter-to-quarter business is not linear,” Chapek said, trying to put a more positive spin on things.

He admitted the surge in COVID-19 cases from the Delta variant around the world likely played a part in the lower numbers. ‘Mobilizing partners’ in Latin America to push Star+, the COVID-related suspension of the Indian Premier League cricket competition — whose games appear on Disney’s Hotstar service in that nation, and now streaming on ESPN+ in the United States — as well as other production delays related to the Delta variant, have all hurt subscriber numbers during the fourth quarter.

  • Disney+

    Disney+ is a new ad-free video streaming service which offers exclusive series and films from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and more. Disney unveiled that their streaming service will debut in the U.K. on March 24th, 2020.

    The Disney streaming service will cost £7.99 / month, or £79.99 / year (£6.67 / month).

    The app supports 4K streaming, unlimited downloads, 4 simultaneous streams, up to 7 profiles, with hundreds of avatars for your personal profile.

    The first year will include 25 new original series, 10+ movies, 7,500 past episodes, 100 recent movies, and 400 library titles including the entire Disney Vault. New releases like “Toy Story 4”, “The Lion King”, “Aladdin” and classics like “The Little Mermaid” and “Cinderella” will be available to stream.

    The company announced original shows and movies that will be available at launch, including the $100 million 8-episode Star Wars spin-off, “The Mandalorian”, “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” “The World According To Jeff Goldblum,” “Lady and the Tramp,” and “The Imagineering Story.”

    You can see the full list of available Disney, Disney Channel, Star Wars, Pixar, Marvel, Nat Geo shows and movies, or all available Disney Plus content by checking out our Disney+ Streaming Movie List.

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  • Star+

    Star+ is an entertainment and sports streaming service in Latin America. The service includes ESPN’s live sports streaming service and TV series and movies from Disney Television Studios, FX, 20th Century Studios, Star Original Productions, National Geographic Original Production.

    From dramas to comedies (including all seasons of “The Simpsons”) to adult thrillers, Star+ will also feature exclusive original programming from the general entertainment brand Star, along with a collection of regional original productions from Latin America.

    Subscribers can save money by bundling Star+ with Disney+. When you subscribe to both services you can get Disney+ and Star+ for US$13.99 / month.

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