Disney follows Netflix and declares war on password sharing on its platform

Disney+ has lost 1.3 million subscribers since its price increase

The end of year 2023 results are quite mixed for the studio, which has just announced Moana 2 for Christmas, followed by Zootopia 2 in 2025 and Frozen 3 the following year.

Last week, Disney studio executives made a number of big announcements, particularly regarding animated films. First surprise: Moana 2first thought of as a series version for the studio’s streaming service, will ultimately be a film, which will be available in cinemas from the end of 2024. The Disney of Christmas 2025 will also be the sequel to a popular work: Zootopia 2. And the same for 2026, a year which should end with the broadcast on the big screen of Frozen 3.

So many shocking announcements that fell when taking stock of the year 2023, quite mixed for the firm with big ears. We have already spoken here in detail about the fact that several major Disney productions had did less well than expected at the box office in recent months,Ant-Man 3 has wish Passing by Indiana Jones 5 Or The little Mermaid.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was the studio’s only hugely profitable superhero film, and Pixar’s last, Elementary, worked well over time during the summer, ending up obtaining decent revenues despite a poor start. This observation is all the more striking given that Disney blockbusters have been in the top 5 in the world for several years in a row. But there, it was the competitors who were in the lead: Warner Bros with barbieUniversal with Super Mario Bros. And Oppenheimer

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On the streaming side, 2023, studio centenary year, will not be a year of records either. The studio’s financial statement, analyzed by Variety, thus speaks of a loss of 1.3 million subscribers in the last quarter, which coincides with the increase in Disney+ prices last October. The platform thus remains below the 150 million subscriber mark worldwide: 149.6 million people have an account, including 111.3 million outside Disney+Core, the Indian branch of the service. For comparison, Netflix has 260 million subscribers and Prime Video around 200 million.

Disney+ Core subscriptions are counted separately because they cost less in India than in the rest of the world, which can be explained by the low standard of living and the very large number of inhabitants. It is the only country which saw its number of subscriptions increase, by 500,000 new contracts all the same in the same third quarter of 2023, or 38.3 million customers there.

To benefit from the most profitable rate on the rest of the planet, you have recently had to take out a subscription with advertising at €5.99/month. The Premium offer has increased to €11.99/month.

These increases were justified in particular by the large sums committed by Disney in the production of new films and series for this streaming service. Bob Iger and his teams are indeed multiplying substantial productions, particularly in the worlds of Star Wars or Marvel superheroes.

To save taxes, the firm also stopped the broadcast of certain programs, such as series Willow, which nevertheless cost 100 million to make! A process which has generated a lot of ink, and which is not specific to Disney: Warner or Netflix have also canceled the broadcast of films already shot, and Paramount+ has withdrawn certain series from its catalog, due to lack of sufficient audiences.

Disney’s report, however, specifies that the firm should have passed the hardest part regarding its streaming service. At the start of 2024, it will be able to count on 5 to 6 million more subscribers worldwide, and it also details having seen its average revenue per user increase by 14% in recent times. Its losses are estimated at $387 million for the last three months of 2023, compared to “only” 138 million for January-March 2024 estimates.

Disney+ has just announced to its subscribers the intention of restrict account sharing, like what was done at Netflix last spring. What impact will this have on the number of subscriptions? It is still too early to quantify this future ban on password sharing.

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