Disney said on Wednesday that although its earnings fell in the most recent quarter. Its theme parks and streaming service Disney+ performed well.
The entertainment behemoth posted a net profit of $470 million (about Rs. 3,645 crores), over half of the profit of $912 million (Rs. 7,075 crores) announced a year before.
However, park attendance returned with the continuing COVID-19 outbreak, and Disney+ grew from 7.9 million users to 137.7 million.
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When you include Disney’s streaming services, Hulu and ESPN+, the total number of subscribers exceeds 205 million.
“Our outstanding results in the second quarter, including a brilliant performance at our domestic parks and steady expansion of our streaming services,” stated Walt Disney CEO Bob Chapek.
Chapek explained to analysts Disney is considering boosting the price of its streaming service subscription in the future but has no concrete plans. Disney+ is working on an ad-supported service version, which is expected to arrive in 2022.
In contrast to a drop in subscription counts recorded by competitor Netflix in the first quarter of this yea. Disney+ acquired more customers than experts projected.
Reduction of only 200,000 customers — less than 0.1 percent of Netflix’s overall customer base — led the company’s stock to plummet, prompting a shareholder to launch a lawsuit accusing Netflix of failing to disclose that subscriber numbers were in jeopardy.
“Disney+ has been tearing Netflix apart [in the US],” Enderle Group tech analyst Rob Enderle told AFP.
“Kids have always wanted their possessions, and getting their help has always been a simple decision for parents.”
According to officials at the earnings conference, almost half of Disney+ users are families with children.
Disney has ceased licensing its valued material to Netflix to keep it only to its streaming service and has said that it would continue to do so with competitors.
Politics and parks
Disney said its resorts and parks are operating with none of the severe COVID-19-related capacity constraints that were in place last year while its streaming television service continues to snowball.
According to Disney, the epidemic is still causing problems for film and television production, although it has put pictures in theatres this year.
“Our schedule for the balance of this year is superb,” Chapek said to analysts as he discussed the company’s streaming and theatre lineup.
Chapek recognized the difficulties in getting pictures distributed in China, calling the political and financial climate “convoluted.”
It heartened him that a released Doctor Strange film based on a Marvel comics character made more than $500 million (about Rs. 3,877 crores) in its first week, despite not having broadcast in China.
Closer to home, the Florida governor signed a bill that repeals a provision that has enabled Disney to function as a municipal government in Orlando, where it has a theme park, for decades.
The action was the latest in a spat between the state’s Republican government and Disney. Which had criticized the state’s Republican administration for passing legislation prohibiting school instruction on sexual orientation in March.
“With the plug removed, will come out ahead financially,” expert Enderle said.
“It’s almost as if Florida handed them money; footed the whole tab for the community.”
In 1967, Florida’s government established the Reedy Creek Improvement District to aid the building of Disney World in Orlando.
Under the terms of the agreement, Disney manages the district. As if it were a municipality, collecting taxes and providing critical public services like rubbish collection and water treatment.
According to Florida law, if they dissolved the special district. Its assets and obligations transferred to municipal governments in the region.
After it enacted the law, state Democratic senator Linda Stewart cautioned, “Removing the district might shift $2 billion (about Rs. 15,515 crore) in debt from Disney to taxpayers.”
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