Hulu has emerged as Disney’s -growing U.S. streaming service, just as the company loads up on more adult-focused entertainment in a bid to expand its reach to a wider variety of viewers.
New subscriptions to Hulu have outpaced those of Disney’s flagship streaming platform, Disney+, in 18 of the past 24 months, and total new subscriptions to Hulu have exceeded those to Disney+ in each of the last six quarters, according to data from subscriber-measurement firm Antenna.
Hulu’s subscriber gains come as Disney leadership is under pressure from investors to keep up the momentum in Disney+ subscriber growth. Disney CEO Chapek has set a target of signing up between 230 million and 260 million Disney+ subscribers and achieving profitability for the streaming business by September 2024, a goal described as unrealistic by some shareholders.
Some analysts and investors have described streaming as a drag on Disney’s share price, which has fallen by nearly 40% this year amid a broader pullback in media stocks. Disney+ has 137.7 million global subscribers as of the most recent quarter’s end. Hulu’s streaming-only service has 41.4 million subscribers, while Hulu Live, Disney’s $70-a-month live-TV streaming product, has 4.1 million. The streaming segment overall lost $887 million in the most recent quarter, and its losses have totaled more than $6 billion since the launch of Disney+.
Source: Wall Street Journal