afaqs! news bureau

Driven by IPL, Indian audience contributes to more than half of new subscribers of Disney+

The streaming platform crosses 50 million subscribers this quarter.

At the end of Q2 2022, Disney+ has 137.7 million global paid subscribers. Of this 50.1 million (36.4%) are Disney+Hotstar subscribers. It added 7.9 million new subscribers worldwide — a little over half of them courtesy Disney+ Hotstar, which operates in India and other Asian countries.

Christine McCarthy, senior executive vice-president and chief financial officer, The Walt Disney Company, attributed this growth to the Indian Premier League (IPL), the television and digital broadcast rights of which are currently with Disney-Star.

This is in stark contrast to its rival Netflix, which lost 200,000 paid subscribers globally in the same period. It is planning an advertising video-on-demand (AVOD) service to propel growth across markets.

Revenues for the quarter grew 23%. Meanwhile, Disney+Hotstar’s monthly average revenue per user (ARPU) increased from $0.49 to $0.76 in the quarter, up 55 per cent. The report attributed the rise to launches in new territories with higher average prices and higher per-subscriber advertising revenue.

Bob Chapek, CEO of The Walt Disney Company, said that the company is on track to reach 230 to 260 million subscribers by fiscal 2024.

“Our strong results in the second quarter, including fantastic performance at our domestic parks and continued growth of our streaming services—with 7.9 million Disney+ subscribers added in the quarter and total subscriptions across all our DTC offerings exceeding 205 million—once again proved that we are in a league of our own,” said Bob Chapek, Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company.

Across all of Disney's streaming services (Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+), total subscriptions exceeded 205 million, with Latin America being the strongest contributor.

McCarthy also announced that Disney+ has over 500 local original titles in various stages of development and production. Of these 100 shows are lined up for the Indian market.

“One-third of the $32-billion content spend for fiscal 2022 will be going to sports. Of the balance of the $32 billion, a meaningful amount of it will be dedicated to investments in general entertainment content that we can leverage across all our distribution platforms. We have about 500 shows in the pipeline for local content outside of the US. Of this, 140 is in Southeast Asia. In EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa), it is 150, and in India, it is 100 shows,” she said.

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