Sun, 11 Apr 2021

Disney sees future in streaming services, says exec

Robert Besser
05 Mar 2021, 19:49 GMT+10

Subscriptions to Walt Disney Company's Disney+ streaming service surpassed initial estimates, primarily owing to adults from households with no children showing high interest, Chief Executive Bob Chapek has stated.

Launched in November 2019, Disney+ clocked growth that exceeded Wall Street's forecasts and Disney's projection. While Disney has emerged as a household name for family entertainment, Disney+ also offers viewers movies and television shows from Marvel, "Star Wars" studio Lucasfilm and others.

Disney+ has continued to make significant strides, reaching 94.9 million customers globally, as of Jan 2. The figure constituted 50 percent of those living in households with no children, Chapek said, while adding that the proportion was higher than predicted.

"What we didn't realize was the non-family appeal that a service like Disney+ would have," Chapek noted during an online video call to the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecommunications Conference.

"In fact, over 50 percent of our global marketplace does not have kids," he pointed out.

"When 50 percent of the people in Disney+ do not have kids, you really have the opportunity now to think much more broadly about the nature of your content," Chapek remarked.

The service has drawn significant interest in the current Marvel show WandaVision and Star Wars series The Mandalorian, portraying the character Baby Yoda.

Chapek, who assumed the role of Disney CEO in 2020, revamped Disney's media and entertainment businesses to prioritize streaming, as customers veer toward choices, including Netflix.

In December, Disney amped up initial forecasts, while seeking to draw 350 million global subscribers across its streaming services, including Hulu and ESPN+, by fiscal year 2024.

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