Disney+ Subscribers Top Netflix Just as Consumers Rethink Streaming Media Costs

Disney streaming

With the addition of the 14.4 million new subscribers to Disney+ during the quarter ended July 2, The Walt Disney Company’s streaming offerings — Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu — now have more paid subscribers than Netflix.

The company reported in its Wednesday (Aug. 10) earnings release that the three services combined have 221.1 million paid subscribers, with Disney+ at 152.1 million, ESPN+ at 22.8 million and Hulu at 46.2 million. Netflix reported July 19 in a letter to shareholders that it had 220.7 million paid memberships at the end of the second quarter.

“We continue to transform entertainment as we near our second century, with compelling new storytelling across our many platforms and unique immersive physical experiences that exceed guest expectations, all of which are reflected in our strong operating results this quarter,” The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek said in the earnings release.

Also Wednesday, The Walt Disney Company said Disney+ is raising its prices and adding an ad-supported tier in an effort to offer viewers more choices.

The new pricing for Disney’s streaming services is set to start Dec. 8. In the case of Disney+, subscribers will pay $3 more per month for the plan with no ads than the one with ads, according to a Wednesday (Aug. 10) press release.

The new monthly price of the premium plan will be $3 higher than it is now, while the ad-supported plan will cost the same as the premium plan costs now, according to a CNET report.

“With our new ad-supported Disney+ offering and an expanded lineup of plans across our entire streaming portfolio, we will be providing greater consumer choice at a variety of price points to cater to the diverse needs of our viewers and appeal to an even broader audience,” Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution Chairman Kareem Daniel said in the release.

PYMNTS research has found that rising costs and growing frustration are leading consumers to reevaluate their paid subscriptions and cancel those they deem unwanted — and video streaming subscriptions are particularly vulnerable.

Get the report: Subscription Commerce

In the “Subscription Commerce Tracker,” PYMNTS reported that companies should reassess their offerings and devise ways to provide customized consumer experiences.