Disney quickly wins over to Netflix in streaming wars


Cars pass a sign with Mickey Mouse at the entrance to Walt Disney World on the day parts of the theme park, including the Magic Kingdom, reopened to guests after it had been closed since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Paul Hennessy | SOPA pictures | Getty Images

In this round, Disney beat Netflix.

Disney’s continued growth coupled with a disappointing quarter for Netflix was the big story of that quarter’s reporting season.

Disney benefited from a handful of popular movies, including “Cruella” and “Luca,” which make it for the 30th quarter of “Sex Education” and “Money Heist” return to service.

Disney + and Hotstar, Disney’s Indian streaming service, have gained 12.4 million new subscribers since the last quarter, while Netflix only gained 1 million new customers. In the last quarter, Disney gained nearly 9 million new Disney + subscribers and Netflix approximately 4 million new customers.

“Last quarter we had a small weakness in streaming subs at both Netflix and Disney. The weakness persisted with Netflix, but not Disney,” said Mark Zgutowicz, an analyst at Rosenblatt Equity Research, in a CNBC interview. “Disney + is now about 90 million subscribers behind Netflix worldwide. With that number today, Netflix has net income of 20 million this year.”

All of the major streaming video players reported profits this quarter. Below is an overview of where all the major streaming services are:


  • 209 million paying subscribers worldwide (one million more than last quarter)
  • 73.95 million subscribers in the US and Canada
  • Average Unit Revenue, or ARPU, for the US and Canada: $ 14.54


  • Disney +, including Hotstar: 116 million subscribers, $ 4.16 global ARPU (up 12.4 million from last quarter)
  • Hulu subscription video-on-demand or SVOD only: 39.1 million subscribers, $ 13.15 ARPU
  • Hulu SVOD + Live TV: 3.7 million subscribers, $ 84.09 ARPU
  • ESPN +: 14.9 million subscribers, $ 4.47 ARPU

Amazon Prime Video

  • More than 175 million Amazon Prime members streamed shows and movies last year. No updates were made during the second quarter.
  • Prime memberships cost $ 12.99 per month or $ 119 per year, but they come with many other benefits than streaming video – including free one-day or two-day shipping on most Amazon plans. Amazon isn’t breaking out of Prime members’ ARPU.


  • Apple TV + subscribers:? (No updates during second quarter earnings)
  • ARPU 😕

Apple’s free one-year trials of Apple TV +, which it is giving away with new hardware like iPhones, are now expiring for many customers, which could prompt the company to offer an update on its next conference call.

NBCUniversals peacock

  • 54 million “registrations” (up 12 million from last quarter)
  • More than 20 million monthly active accounts
  • ARPU 😕
  • Three levels: Free with ads, $ 4.99 per month for less ads and more content, $ 9.99 per month ad-free

Comcast’s NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC, successfully used the Tokyo 2020 Olympics to promote Peacock subscriptions. NBCUniversal will likely add more Olympic filings in the next quarter as Peacock stats were only released about halfway through the Games.

While the company hasn’t released any official numbers on ARPU yet, NBCUniversal estimated in January that Peacock would deliver $ 6 to $ 7 a month across its three tiers.

WarnerMedias HBO and HBO Max

  • 67.5 million subscribers worldwide (plus 3.6 million)
  • 47 million domestic subscribers (up 2.8 million)
  • ARPU: $ 11.90 domestically

AT&T has raised its global year-end subscriber forecast for HBO Max from 70 million in its income statement for the second quarter to 73 million. From March she expects 120 to 150 million subscribers by the end of 2025.


  • More than 42 million subscribers on Paramount +, Showtime, Noggin, BET + and other platforms (up 6.5 million, of which the “overwhelming majority” are from Paramount +)
  • Over 52 million monthly average Pluto TV users (up 2 million)
  • ARPU 😕

Average revenue per user remains a question mark for ViacomCBS, which has still chosen not to publish the statistics.

“We have been on a journey of increased disclosure over time,” Bob Bakish, CEO of ViacomCBS, told CNBC. “We will continue to develop disclosure.”



  • 28.9 million subscribers worldwide (minus 600,000), including 16.7 million streaming
  • ARPU: about $ 6 per month

Lionsgate’s Starz even lost overall subscribers for the quarter, though the decline was due to the cancellation of the company’s linear service. Streaming customers grew 58% year over year to 16.7 million worldwide.

AMC networks

  • Total subscribers:?
  • ARPU 😕

AMC Networks announced earlier this month that it will have at least 9 million paid streaming subscribers on its platforms by the end of the year. The company’s flagship streaming product is AMC +, which could see a surge in subscribers after Verizon announced a deal with the company earlier this month that would offer certain subscribers a free trial of the product for 6 or 12 months.

Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the parent company of CNBC.

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