How many video streaming services does it take to profitably entertain America? That question has been top of mind for people in the tech and media industries over the past year, as numerous TV companies jumped into the market made popular by Netflix with their own streaming offerings. Whether there was enough demand for each of these to make money is doubtful. Those doubts may have been reinforced by Disney’s earnings results today.
The entertainment giant reported a sharp slowdown in the number of new subscribers for its Disney+ service, adding just 8.7 million, down from the 21.2 million who joined the previous quarter. Not since the first quarter of last year, before the worst of Covid, did Disney+ grow so slowly—and that was before it had launched in several overseas markets. Even more worrisome, Disney’s average revenue per subscriber fell to $3.99, a result of the subscriber mix shifting a little more toward India, where Disney’s service costs much less than everywhere else in the world.