Disney+ Hotstar comprised 37% of Disney+'s paid subs base of 118 million in Q4

In Q3, Disney+ Hotstar comprised close to 40% of Disney+'s global subscriber base of 116 million

e4m by Javed Farooqui
Published: Nov 11, 2021 8:55 AM  | 4 min read
disney hotstar

Disney+ Hotstar's paid subscriber base has declined by 2.74 million to 43.66 million for the quarter ended 2nd October. In the prior quarter ending 3rd July, the streaming platform's total paid subscriber base stood at 46.4 million.

Disney+ Hotstar comprised 37% of Disney+'s overall paid subscriber base of 118 million. During the quarter under review, Disney+ added 2 million paid subscribers to exit the quarter with 118 million subscribers.

In Q3, Disney+ Hotstar comprised close to 40% of Disney+'s global subscriber base of 116 million. In that quarter, Disney+ had added 12 million subscribers, with Disney+ Hotstar accounting for the majority of net subscriber additions.

“We ended the fourth quarter and the fiscal year with over 118 million global paid Disney+ subscribers, reflecting over 2 million net additions from Q3 in line with the subscriber guidance we gave in September. Subscribers across our domestic and core international markets, excluding Disney+ Hotstar, grew by almost 4 million from Q3 to Q4. Disney+ Hotstar subs decreased versus the prior quarter and accounted for about 37% of our total Disney+ paid subscriber base as of the end of the fourth quarter,” Christine McCarthy, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, The Walt Disney Company, told analysts during the Q4 earnings conference call.

Disney+'s global ARPU in the fourth quarter was $4.12. Excluding Disney+ Hotstar, it was $6.24 or an increase of about $0.12 versus the third quarter, continuing to benefit from recent price increases.

“But as it relates to ARPU specifically, there's been a lot of noise in the Indian market, a lot of which has been around sport. So when you look at the ARPU for Hotstar on a linked quarter basis from Q3 to Q4 this year, it actually decreased, and that was a result of lower per sub advertising revenue because there were fewer IPL matches this year,” she stated.

“In Q4, there were only 18, and I believe the number was 29-ish in Q3. So you had a linked-quarter reduction in games, therefore lower subscriber advertising revenue. And when we think about ARPU overall, there's several levers here. There is a price value relationship over time, high-quality content. And the content in India is really two things. It's not only the IPL, but other key sports like beyond cricket.”

Considering Disney+ Hotstar's rich content offerings, McCarthy is confident that the platform will be able to take the price up as the market allows. “So you have things like the English Premier League. And also there's a big general entertainment component. We have all of our Disney+ content over there for all the different labels that we have, Disney Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and so on. But they also have over 18,000 hours of original local programming that is produced every year. So once again, I think the upside potential as when all things are working, also cylinders are working, and we'll be able to take price up as the market allows.”

She also stated that Disney+ will increase local content offerings in Asia, India, Europe, and Latin America in fiscal 2022, with the majority of those titles also releasing in the back part of the year.

McCarthy also stated that Disney+ will reach its peak year of losses in fiscal 2022. She reiterated that Disney+ will achieve the subscriber target of 230 to 260 million by fiscal 2024.

“So putting this all together and also taking into consideration the timing of our planned international launches in 2022, we expect Disney+ subscriber net adds in the second half of fiscal 2022 will be meaningfully higher than the first half of the year. Additionally, we now expect the Disney+ will reach its peak year of losses in fiscal 2022 instead of in fiscal 2021, as better-than-expected revenue and lower content expenses due to production delays contributed to lower-than-expected losses in 2021. And we believe we are well-positioned to achieve the subscriber target of 230 million to 260 million by fiscal 2024 that we laid out at last year's Investor Day,” she asserted.


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