Disney has overtaken Netflix in worldwide subscription numbers, making the media giant the world’s largest streaming company. As of July 2022, Disney’s total subscription count stands at 221 million, including Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu subscribers, compared to Netflix’s 220.7 million.

  • Disney+ alone currently hosts 152.1 million subscribers, while Hulu and ESPN+ have 46.2 million and 22.8 million subscribers, respectively.
  • During Q3 of 2022, Disney+ added 14,4 million new subscribers to its network, while this figure was 600,000 for Hulu and 500,000 for ESPN+.
  • Disney+ is home to popular content like the new Star Wars and Marvel series, including the upcoming She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, Daredevil: Born Again, The Mandalorian Season 3, and Star Wars: Skeleton Crew.

How’s Netflix Doing?: Netflix recorded a net loss of 970,000 subscribers in Q2 of 2022, its largest recorded loss so far.

  • The streaming giant lost 1.28 million subscribers in the US and Canada during the second quarter. However, the net loss corresponded to nearly 1 million with the platform’s gains in other countries.
  • The company expects to gain a million subscribers in Q3.
  • It also lost 200,000 subscribers in Q1, marking the company's first quarterly subscriber loss in over a decade. The loss was triggered mainly by the price increase on subscription fees which came from increased expenses to produce more content.

Netflix’s Recovery Plan: After its first significant subscriber loss, Netflix prepared a draft roadmap to boost its revenue and increase subscriber numbers.

  • The company announced it would roll out a lower-priced ad-supported tier in early 2023, which it partnered up with Microsoft to offer. The ad-supported tier is expected to launch in early 2023, although how much it would cost is unknown for now.
  • The streaming giant is also testing a new “Add a home” feature in select countries outside the US. The feature will allow the platform to take a monthly fee of $3 from the users who share their accounts with others in an effort to combat password sharing.

Ad-supported Tiers Are in Demand: Disney+ similarly plans to launch a cheaper, ad-supported tier dubbed Disney+ Basic.

  • The new plan will launch on December 8th in the US.
  • It will cost $7.99 per month.
  • The current ad-free tier with the $7.99 monthly price tag will be rebranded as Disney+ Premium, and its monthly price will increase to $10.99.
  • Disney will show about four minutes of ads per hour to the Disney+ Basic subscribers. The ads will be split into 15-second and 30-second spots.
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