Disney Plus and Hulu Turn Profit for the First Time

Disney Plus and Hulu Turn Profit for the First Time

In a surprising turn of events, Disney Plus and Hulu have posted a profit for the first time. The recent earnings report from Disney revealed that the combined streaming services made $47 million this past quarter, a significant improvement from the $587 million loss reported at the same time last year. While this is a major milestone for Disney’s streaming business, it’s essential to note that ESPN Plus still experienced a loss of $65 million, resulting in a combined streaming earnings deficit of $18 million.

Despite the challenges faced by ESPN Plus, Disney remains optimistic about the future profitability of its streaming services. Disney CEO Bob Iger highlighted the importance of streaming in the company’s overall earnings, stating that they expect the streaming business to become profitable by the fourth quarter of this year. The narrowing losses indicate that Disney’s investment in streaming is starting to pay off, paving the way for future growth opportunities.

Expanding Subscriber Base and Integrations

Over the past few months, Disney Plus has added 7.9 million subscribers in the US and Canada, bringing the total number of subscribers to 54 million. To further enhance the streaming experience, Disney recently launched a combined Disney Plus and Hulu app and plans to integrate ESPN Plus into the platform as well. This move will give all subscribers access to select live games and studio programming, creating a more comprehensive entertainment offering.

While Disney did not specify the exact reasons behind the turnaround of its streaming business, several factors could have contributed to this success. One significant factor could be the growth of the ad-supported tier, which was introduced in December 2022 at a price of $7.99 per month. By leveraging partnerships with cable providers like Charter, Disney was able to drive the growth of its ad-supported tier, which now boasts 22.5 million subscribers.

Looking ahead, Disney has ambitious plans for its streaming services. The company is set to launch a standalone ESPN streaming service in the fall of 2025, along with a dedicated sports streaming platform in partnership with Warner Bros. Discovery and Fox later this year. By expanding its offerings and investing in new content, Disney aims to solidify its position in the competitive streaming market and continue its path towards profitability.

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