It had staked its future on building a streaming service to rival Netflix as audiences moved to online viewing from traditional TV.
Walt Disney Co edged past Netflix Inc with a total of 221 million streaming customers and announced it will increase prices for customers who want to watch Disney+ or Hulu without commercials. The media giant will raise the monthly cost of Disney+ without advertising by 38 percent to $10.99 in December, when it begins to offer a new option that includes advertisements for the current price.
Shares of Disney rose 6.9 percent in after-hours trading to $120.15 on Wednesday. Disney in 2017 staked its future on building a streaming service to rival Netflix as audiences moved to online viewing from traditional cable and broadcast television.
Five years later, Disney has edged past Netflix in total streaming customers. The Mouse House added 14.4 million Disney+ customers, beating the consensus of 10 million expected by analysts polled by FactSet, as it released Star Wars series Obi-Wan Kenobi and Marvel’s Ms Marvel. Combined with Hulu and ESPN+, Disney said it had 221.1 million streaming subscribers at the end of the June quarter. Netflix said it had 220.7 million streaming subscribers.
Disney said last month it sold $9bn of advertisements for the upcoming TV season, with 40 percent of that going to its online offerings.