Disney+ Adds 12.1 Million Subscribers to Cross 164 Million Worldwide Ahead of Ad-Tier Launch

The Walt Disney Co. closed its July-September quarter with a 12.1 million gain in Disney+ streaming subscribers.

Coming in at 152.1 million last quarter, Disney+ subscribers totaled 164.2 million by Oct. 1, the end of the conglomerate’s fourth quarter and full-year fiscal 2022 results, which were reported Tuesday. The pickup of 12.1 million, 2 million of those new accounts in U.S. and Canada, for the flagship streamer smashed analysts’ forecasts of an 8.9 million subscriber gain.

Overall, Disney’s spectrum of direct-to-consumer services, which comprise Disney+, Disney+ Hotstar, Hulu and ESPN+, has surpassed 235 million global subscribers, up from 221.1 million total subscribers worldwide at the end of the previous quarter.

For comparison, Netflix reported its subscriber total grew to reach 223.1 million worldwide, following two straight quarters of decline, by the end of September, while Warner Bros. Discovery says HBO, HBO Max and Discovery+ totaled nearly 95 million global customers combined at the close of the same quarter.

For ESPN+, the quarter saw a rise from 17.1 million to 24.3 million subs, while Hulu climbed from 43.8 million (39.7 million SVOD-only customers combined with 4 million Live TV +SVOD subs) to 47.2 million (42.8 million SVOD-only customers combined with 4.4 million Live TV + SVOD subs).

During the June-September quarter, Disney+ released streaming originals including “Hocus Pocus 2,” “The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers” Season 2, “Andor,” Tom Hanks’ live-action “Pinocchio,” “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law,” and “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” Season 3, among other titles.

Disney+ will launch its ad-supported tier during the current quarter, with that option rolling out Dec. 8.

The company had predicted this spike, with CFO Christine McCarthy stating during Disney’s previous earnings call in August an expectation that net adds for Disney+ core (excluding Disney+ Hotstar) would “accelerate modestly” in the September quarter over fiscal Q3, “particularly in the domestic market.”

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