Posts for 'Disney+'

  • Inside the Stream Podcast: Disney+ Restarts Growth As Bundling Helps Drive Gains

    Welcome to this week’s edition of Inside the Stream, the podcast where nScreenMedia’s Chief Analyst Colin Dixon and I take listeners inside the world of streaming video.

    Disney+ added nearly 12 million subscribers in the recent holiday quarter, an encouraging sign that bundling Disney+ with Hulu and ESPN+ is a highly effective strategy. Disney+ also had strong gains in the US and Canada market, adding 6.6 million subscribers in the quarter, while Netflix by comparison added only 1.2 million. Colin and I dig into all the Disney+ numbers and discuss what might be next.

    Listen to the podcast (24 minutes, 47 seconds)


    Browse all previous podcasts

    Subscribe to Inside the Stream
    Apple Podcasts  Google Podcasts  Spotify  Amazon Music  RSS

     
  • CTV Advertising Likely Played a Big Part in Disney+ Being Bundled With Hulu + Live TV

    Late last week Disney told its Hulu + Live TV subscribers that Disney+ and ESPN+ would be bundled starting Dec. 21st, and that their rate would be increasing by $5 per month. Coming off an anemic fiscal Q4 ’21 in which Disney+ added just 2.1 million subscribers, the lowest by far since launching in late 2019, the intra-company move meant the automatic addition of 4 million Hulu + Live TV subscribers to Disney+’s total in one magical wave of CEO Bob Chapek’s wand.

    I received a number of emails from VideoNuze readers to the effect of “that kind of corporate trickery doesn’t feel like a positive sign for Disney+.” I don’t dispute that there’s merit to that line of thinking, but I’d discount it. The step up in Disney+ subscribers in fiscal Q1 ’22 will be so delineated that it means Wall Street won’t give Disney+ any credit for it because investors are tunnel-visioned on Disney+’s organic growth heading in 2022 (that’s kind of what happens when an SVOD service goes from a standing start to 118 million subscribers in less than two years…expectations become quite high).

    I’d assert that the tunnel vision on Disney+’s growth is causing under appreciation of what may be a far more important driver of Disney’s decision to bundle Disney+: Hulu’s burgeoning opportunity in connected TV advertising.

    continue reading

     
  • Inside the Stream Podcast: Can Disney+ Reignite Growth in 2022?

    Welcome to this week’s edition of Inside the Stream, the podcast where nScreenMedia’s Chief Analyst Colin Dixon and I take listeners inside the world of streaming video.

    Disney+ now has 118.1 million subscribers, less than 2 years since its launch. But Disney+ added just 2.1 million subscribers in the fiscal fourth quarter of 2021, a huge slowdown from the blistering pace of the past 2 years. This raises the question many investors are asking: can Disney+ reignite growth in 2022, and if so, how? Colin and I explore these questions on this week’s podcast.

    Meanwhile, Hulu keeps chugging along, albeit in the shadow of Disney+. But as we also discuss, Hulu is already likely profitable (at least marginally), but looking out, it is poised to become a genuine profit engine for Disney. That’s because Hulu is one of a handful of scaled, ad-supported services and its Live TV + SVOD services is already generating nearly $85 per month in average revenue per subscriber. As CTV advertising becomes increasingly central to advertisers, Hulu is well-positioned to benefit.

    Listen to the podcast (34 minutes, 31 seconds)




    Browse all previous podcasts

    Subscribe to Inside the Stream
    Apple Podcasts  Google Podcasts  Spotify  Amazon Music  RSS

     
  • Inside the Stream Podcast: Parsing the “Black Widow” Numbers Even Further

    Welcome to this week’s edition of Inside the Stream, the podcast where nScreenMedia’s Chief Analyst Colin Dixon and I take listeners inside the world of streaming video.

    This week Colin and I parse Disney’s “Black Widow” opening weekend numbers, building on my analysis from yesterday. We agree that it is premature to extrapolate much from “Black Widow” and anyone doing so is on slippery ground. On the one hand, Disney getting 45% of its opening weekend from Disney+ PVOD is very impressive; on the other hand, it is far from definitive proof that streaming’s role will be robust in the first release window going forward.

    The backdrop to all of this is of course consumers’ decision-making about whether to stay home and watch any of the myriad streaming originals available in the current “Peak TV” era, or choose to return to the theater. Inevitably, we observe the sizable role that quality plays in this decision-making process. Sadly, streaming TV and movies are going in completely opposite directions on this front, with the former getting relentlessly better and the latter getting relentlessly worse. I believe this alone is a key contributor to consumers choosing to stay home, as I wrote last week in “5 Reasons Going to the Movies is Facing an Irreversible Demise.”

    Please let us know what you think!

    Listen to the podcast (27 minutes, 33 seconds)


    Browse all previous podcasts

    Subscribe to Inside the Stream
    Apple Podcasts  Google Podcasts  Spotify  Amazon Music  RSS

    Note I’ll continue to publish Inside the Stream in the prior feed

     
  • Why Disney’s “Black Widow” Opening Numbers are Such a Brain Teaser

    Since waking up Monday morning to the news reports that Disney’s “Black Widow” had an opening weekend of $158.8 million at the box office globally and another $60 million in rentals on Disney+ I’ve been thinking about how to interpret the numbers. I’ve chatted with industry colleagues, read much of the reporting and done a little back-of-the-envelope analysis, which I share below.

    My top line takeaway: for now at the least, the opening numbers are a real brain teaser. There is simply no way to conclude anything definitive or even semi-definitive from “Black Widow” and anyone who is extrapolating from them is out over their skis. Rather, “Black Widow” provides all of us another little glimpse into what’s possible (note, not necessarily probable) as streaming becomes increasingly mainstream and the industry grapples with how to navigate the post-Covid world.

    The glimpse becomes more meaningful by trying to understand the numbers at as deep a level as realistically possible; an exercise that itself is like catching a greased pig.

    continue reading

     
  • 5 Reasons Going to the Movies is Facing an Irreversible Demise

    Yesterday’s news that Universal Pictures will release certain of its 2022 movies on Peacock no more than four months after their theatrical premiere was just the latest move by the owner of both a studio and a streaming service (in this case Comcast) to accelerate the demise of going to a theater to see a movie.

    Universal’s move shouldn’t have surprised anyone. Back in April, 2020, in the early days of the pandemic, Universal decided to release “Trolls World Tour” as a digital rental to mitigate the closure of theaters. That touched off a highly public war of words with AMC Theaters’ head Adam Aron, who threatened to no longer carry Universal’s movies. Aron and NBCU head Jeff Shell ultimately buried the hatchet, signing a new deal that compressed the theatrical window from 90 days to 17. Aron may have gotten the last laugh when AMC’s stock unexpectedly got caught up in the meme frenzy and the company raised over $1.2 billion by issuing new shares over the past few months.

    Of course, Universal is following a playbook being run by other cross-owned studios/streaming services. Disney has simultaneously released a number of its movies in theaters and on Disney+, experimenting with the premium rental model. ViacomCBS is compressing the theatrical window for Paramount movies to get them onto Paramount+ as quickly as possible. And of course WarnerMedia set off a firestorm back in December, ’20 when it abruptly announced all of its 2021 Warner Bros.’ slate would be simultaneously released on HBO Max (that decision was reversed for the 2022 slate).

    Taken together, it’s pretty clear that studios are delicately, yet aggressively, prioritizing their streaming services over theatrical, irrespective of whatever soothing assurances studio executives continue to offer about the importance of the theater experience to assuage chain owners. But in reality, the studios’ moves are just one of at least 5 reasons why going to the movies is facing an irreversible demise as streaming upends every corner of the media and entertainment industry.

    Read the 5 reasons

     
  • Report: SVOD Market Fragments Following New Service Launches

    The U.S. SVOD market has undergone significant fragmentation over the past two years as new services have launched, according to the Q1 2021 Growth Report from Antenna, an SVOD insights provider. In Q1 ’19, Netflix and Hulu together accounted for over three-quarters (78%) of all SVOD subscriptions. But two years later, in Q1 ’21, their combined share fell to just over half (51%), with Disney taking 17%, HBO Max 11%, Paramount+ 7%, Starz 6%, Showtime 4% and discovery+, Peacock and Apple TV+ all at 2%.

    Antenna didn’t report Amazon Prime Video numbers. Amazon said in its Q1 ’21 earnings report that 175 million Prime members have streamed TV shows and movies in the past year, though it didn’t provide any breakdown of U.S. share vs. rest of world.

    continue reading

     
  • Introducing the Inside the Stream Podcast

    Welcome to the first edition of the new Inside the Stream podcast with Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. After many years of recording together, Colin and I decided it was time for a branding refresh. With Inside the Stream we intend to keep providing an insider’s perspective on the streaming video industry. We’re adding a feature at the beginning of the podcast noting a few important stories that hit our radar. We also intend to bring on more guests to the podcast.

    This week we discuss YouTube’s dominance, underscored by Pew’s latest research, showing 81% of U.S. adults use YouTube. Then Colin shares an updated forecast for Disney+ and what it means to the larger Walt Disney company.

    Many thanks to our inaugural Inside the Stream sponsor Verizon Media. When you have quality connections at scale, you’re truly connected.

    Listen to Inside the Stream


    Browse all previous podcasts

    A reminder to listeners you'll need to subscribe to Inside the Stream in your podcast manager. You can subscribe here currently, with more to come
    Apple Podcasts  Google Podcasts  Spotify  Amazon Music  RSS

    (I'll continue posting in the prior podcast feed for another few weeks)

     
  • Disney+ Tops 100 Million Subscribers; ESPN+ Content to be Available in Hulu

    Disney+ now has over 100 million subscribers, just 16 months since launching. The update was provided by Bob Chapek, CEO of The Walt Disney Company in his remarks at the annual shareholder meeting this afternoon.

    The growth of Disney+ since its launch has been meteoric: 10 million at the end of launch day on November 19, 2019, 28.6 million in February, 2020, 50 million in April, 2020, 73.7 million in September, 2020 and 86.8 million in December, 2020. The most recent update Disney provided was 94.9 million subscribers as of January 2, 2021.

    continue reading

     
  • VideoNuze Podcast #548: Disney Reaches 146 Million DTC Subscribers; Super Bowl Streaming Jumps

    Welcome to the 548th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    Disney turned in yet another strong quarter of direct-to-consumer streaming growth, with 146.4 million subscribers at the end of its fiscal Q1. Disney+ added 21.2 million to reach 94.9 million subscribers. The only hiccup was that Hulu with Live TV dropped by 100K to 4 million subscribers. Colin and I dig into the numbers to better understand the trends revealed in the quarter.

    Then we shift to discussing this past Sunday’s Super Bowl TV ratings which were down and streaming viewers which were up. We discuss what drove each - and add a little commentary about our favorite ads.


    Listen in to learn more!

    Click here to listen to the podcast (21 minutes, 29 seconds)



    Explore all previous podcasts

    Add the podcast feed to your RSS reader.

    The VideoNuze podcast is also available in Apple podcasts, subscribe today!

     
  • VideoNuze Podcast #544: Disney+ Will be Challenged in Streaming Movies; AT&T Quits Virtual Pay-TV

    Welcome to the 544th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    Kids movies were a big part of the success of Disney+ in 2020, with the service having seven of the top 10 streaming movies, according to Nielsen. But as Colin and I discuss, Disney+ will be challenged this year by Netflix, HBO Max and others. With theaters still running at low capacity due to Covid, 2021 is setting up as a game-changing year for streaming movies.

    Separate, this week AT&T pulled the plug on its AT&T TV Now virtual pay-TV service, which at one point a couple years ago led the category with nearly 2 million subscribers (when it was called DirecTV Now). Colin and I examine what went wrong and why AT&T shifted its strategy so dramatically.  

    Enjoy!

    Click here to listen to the podcast (25 minutes, 13 seconds)



    Explore all previous podcasts

    Add the podcast feed to your RSS reader.

    The VideoNuze podcast is also available in Apple podcasts, subscribe today!

     
  • Disney+ Will Keep On Winning

    When I originally gave Disney+ a test run a little over a year ago, following its launch, I wrote that “Disney+ is a Winner.”  Then, when Disney announced this past February that Disney+ had already accumulated 28.6 million subscribers, I wrote “Now It’s Really Official: Disney+ is a Winner.”

    So what to say after last week’s Disney Investor Day, where it was announced that Disney+ is now up to a staggering 86.8 million subscribers? How many different ways can you say something is a winner? What seems more relevant is that Disney+ is likely to keep on winning, for years to come, totally transforming the Walt Disney Company, the streaming market and the broader media and entertainment industries.

    continue reading

     
  • Disney and Google Gain Importance in Pay-TV

    The U.S. pay-TV business performed better than expected in Q3 ’20, with top providers “only” losing around 120K subscribers, according to data compiled by Leichtman Research Group. The results would have been even stronger if a portion of YouTube TV’s one million subscriber additions in 2020 are attributed to Q3 specifically.

    Google didn’t break out how many of YouTube TV’s additions came in Q3, but given the return of major sports during the quarter, it’s probably fair to assume at least 500K-600K. Add those to Hulu + Live TV’s 700K additions in Q3 and just these two virtual pay-TV providers may have accounted for 1.2 to 1.3 million additions.  That would be enough to more than offset the approximately 1.15 million subscriber losses that the largest cable, satellite and telco pay-TV providers incurred.

    continue reading

     
  • Sinclair’s $4.2 Billion Regional Sports Write-Down Highlights Fundamental Industry Shifts

    Sinclair Broadcast Group reported its Q3 ’20 results this morning, including a $4.2 billion write-down on goodwill associated with its regional sports networks (RSNs), which a Sinclair subsidiary acquired just 18 months ago, at a valuation of $10.6 billion. $8.2 billion, or 85% of the $9.6 billion RSNs’ purchase, was financed with debt.

    The move means a stunning 40% of the deal’s value has been erased in very short order. The 21 RSNs were originally owned by Fox, but were assumed by Disney as part of the larger Disney-Fox takeover deal. Sinclair’s RSN devaluation is further proof of the shifting of the pay-TV industry and audience preferences.

    continue reading

     
  • Report: Disney Curtailed Hulu’s International Expansion on Valuation Concerns

    Bloomberg reported Friday that Disney has curtailed Hulu’s international expansion because Disney does not want to significantly increase Hulu’s valuation which would trigger a higher eventual payout to minority owner Comcast. Hulu’s valuation in early 2024 will set the payout Disney owes Comcast for its one-third share in Hulu under a deal struck in May, 2019. Comcast’s Hulu stake is worth at least $5.8 billion under the deal.

    Bloomberg said that Hulu’s late 2019 proposal to Disney to expand internationally was initially supported, but then in August 2020 Disney switched gears and decided to embrace Star as the international brand for its non-U.S. entertainment service. Disney acquired Star, the India media company, as part of its $71 billion Fox deal. Bloomberg also cited Disney’s concerns about extending Hulu’s losses, Covid’s negative impact on Disney’s various businesses, and its commitment of resources to Disney+’s international expansion as other reasons it decided not to support Hulu’s international expansion.

    continue reading

     
  • VideoNuze Podcast #529: Was Disney’s Mulan Successful in PVOD?

    I’m pleased to present the 529th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.  

    This week Colin and I try to scope out whether Disney’s recent PVOD release of Mulan on Disney+ was successful. Disney was looking to both generate PVOD revenues and new Disney+ subscribers. Though it’s hard to discern from available sources exactly what the results were, it seems reasonable to conclude that Mulan wasn’t a home run. But it still seems like the right strategy for Disney to have pursued.

    What does this mean for Disney’s next move in PVOD and PVOD in general as Covid limitations continue? Listen in to learn more.

     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (21 minutes, 28 seconds)



    Explore all previous podcasts

    Add the podcast feed to your RSS reader.

    The VideoNuze podcast is also available in iTunes...subscribe today!

     
  • VideoNuze Podcast #526: Disney is Succeeding With Direct to Consumer

    I’m pleased to present the 526th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. We hope all our listeners are staying well.

    Disney reported its Q3 ’20 results this week, swinging to a $5 billion loss as the pandemic hit multiple parts of the company. The sole bright spot was direct-to-consumer streaming where Disney now has over 100 million subscribers between Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+. Disney emphasized how critical DTC is to its future and plans to launch Star as an international SVOD brand while Hulu will remain a domestic brand.

    On today’s podcast Colin and I discuss the remarkable pivot Disney has made toward DTC in just the past couple of years, and what’s ahead. We’re enthusiastic about the premium opportunities Disney has, starting with the “Mulan” PVOD option coming soon, as Disney+ begins to look more like a membership with various exclusive offers.

    Listen in to learn more!
     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (22 minutes, 28 seconds)



    Explore all previous podcasts

    Add the podcast feed to your RSS reader.

    The VideoNuze podcast is also available in iTunes...subscribe today!

     

     
  • Hulu is Likely to Remain Domestic Brand as Disney Plans Star International Launch

    Disney reported Q3 ’20 earnings yesterday, saying it now has over 100 million streaming subscribers globally (Disney+ with 60.5 million, up from 57.5 million at the end of the quarter, Hulu with 35.5 million and ESPN+ with 8.5 million). New Disney CEO Bob Chapek spoke enthusiastically on the earnings call about the role that direct-to-consumer streaming services are already having on the company and said it “plans to accelerate the push into the direct-to-consumer marketplace” which will be detailed further in an upcoming investor day.

    A key component of the push will be the launch of an international DTC general entertainment service in 2021 using the Star brand that Disney inherited as part of its 21st Century Fox acquisition. The new streaming service will have owned content from ABC Studios, Fox Television, FX, Freeform, 20th Century Studios and Searchlight. It will also be closely promoted with Disney+ and leverage Disney+’s technology platform.

    continue reading

     
  • Disney+ Has 50 Million Subscribers; Average Daily Growth is Remarkably Consistent

    Disney announced that Disney+ now has 50 million paid subscribers, a little less than 5 months since it launched, on November 13. Disney last reported it had 28.6 million subscribers on February 3rd. So since that date, Disney+ has added another 21.4 million. Beyond the staggering growth - from zero to 50 million subscribers in less than 5 months - what’s also remarkable is that the average daily subscriber growth for Disney+ is highly consistent across the two reporting periods (November 13 to February 3 and February 4 - April 7)

    In the first reporting period, which included approximately 84 days, an average of 340,476 subscribers were added per day. In the second reporting period, which included approximately 64 days, an average of 334,375 subscribers were added per day. That’s just a 1.8% average daily decline from period one to period two.

    continue reading

     
  • VideoNuze Podcast #500: Digging Into First Numbers from Disney+ and YouTube

    I’m pleased to present the 500th(!) edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    On today’s podcast, Colin is still mopping up his tears from the 49ers’ heartbreaker last Sunday night, but is being a good sport about the loss. He quickly recaps the game’s streaming audience and shares his insights.

    This week’s main topics are Disney+ and YouTube. Coincidentally, this week we all got a first look at both of their performances, in Disney’s and Alphabet’s earnings reports, respectively. The headline from Disney+ was clearly the 28.6 million subscribers reported after just 84 days after launching - a noteworthy accomplishment by any standard. We discuss how sticky those subs are (i.e. what will the churn rate be?) and what Disney+ will need to do from here to keep up momentum.

    Then we shift to YouTube; we’re both a little surprised that YouTube TV only has 2 million subscribers given how much advertising around marquee sports it has done (by comparison, Hulu Live had 3.2 million at the end of 2019). Nevertheless we are both quite bullish about YouTube going forward, particularly if Google decides to hold off price increases for some time and cord-cutting continues to accelerate. I believe the company as a whole could crack $25 billion in revenue in 2020.

    (Apologies - Colin’s audio quality isn’t very good this week, we’re working to fix for future podcasts.)
     
    Listen in to learn more!

     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (27 minutes, 11 seconds)



    Click here for previous podcasts

    Click here to add the podcast feed to your RSS reader.

    The VideoNuze podcast is also available in iTunes...subscribe today!

     
Previous | Next