Slower subscriber growth for Disney+ no cause for panic, says GlobalData

Following the release of Disney’s fourth-quarter 2021 financial results;

Charlotte Newton, Analyst on the Thematic research Team at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers their view:

“Disney+ subscriber growth may have slowed over the last quarter, but we shouldn’t let that overshadow this young platform’s momentous achievement. One slow quarter doesn’t mean that Disney+ is struggling. In fact, with 116 million paid subscribers worldwide, it is in a strong position in a pretty saturated market.

“GlobalData estimates that subscription video on demand (SVOD) will make up 53% of all pay TV accounts by 2023, hitting 1.5 billion accounts globally, and Disney is a substantial part of this growth. Furthermore, the company achieved a score of 5 out of 5 for the internet TV theme on GlobalData’s Media, Film & TV scorecard, the same score as its main rival Netflix.

“The platform’s Q3 subscriber growth hasn’t been great, but it remains one to watch. The number of Disney+ subscribers has grown by 60% in the past year, and it is hard to argue with those statistics.

“It is a simple formula—more original content equals greater growth in subscribers for streaming platforms. Disney understands this. By diversifying the offering on its streaming platform, Disney effectively appeals to a broader audience, rather than simply creating a Disney Channel rehash. Original content is Disney’s trump card. It offers content that fills the gaps left by its main competitors—a notable example being original sports content via ESPN+. The acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, and other popular franchises also put Disney in a strong position as a streaming service.

“Ultimately, Disney’s strategy of throwing money at developing content (upwards of $9 billion by 2024) to compensate for slowing subscriber growth is one that will ultimately pay off for the media giant.”

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