Walt Disney Company has increased the target for the number of subscribers to its direct-to-consumer services to between 300 and 350 million by 2024.
In an Investor Day presentation, the company announced its portfolio of D2C services had now exceeded a total of 137 million worldwide including 11.5 million ESPN+ subscribers, 38.8 million Hulu subscribers, and 86.8 million Disney+ subscribers. Disney+ officially launched in November 2019.
“The tremendous success we’ve achieved across our unique portfolio of streaming services, with more than 137 million subscriptions worldwide, has bolstered our confidence in our acceleration toward a DTC-first business model,” said Bob Chapek, Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “With our amazing creative teams and our ever-growing collection of the high-quality branded entertainment that consumers want, we believe we are incredibly well positioned to achieve our long-term goals.”
The success has given Disney the confidence to increase the cost of subscribing to Disney in the United States to $7.99 per month of $79.99 per year, representing $1 increase on the current monthly cost. The Disney Bundle with Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ will be priced at $13.99 per month.
Star, the South Asian entertainment service acquired from News Corp, will launch in Europe and other international markets on February 23, 2021 as a fully integrated part of Disney+. It will feature a mix of general entertainment series, movies and documentaries. Previously, Disney has used the ABC brand when distributing its content on services such as iTunes/Apple TV.
The arrival of Star will double the available content to subscribers and will draw on content from Disney Television Studios, FX, 20th Century Studios and 20th Television.
In Europe, Disney+ will be priced at €8.99 per month or €89.99 per year, with a similar pricing adjustment in the other Star launch markets, including Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. A launch in Central & East Europe will take place later in 2021.
Disney+ will also gain enhanced parental controls, including the ability to set limits on access to content for specific profiles based on content ratings and the ability to add a PIN to lock profiles with access to mature content.