Disney will launch a new ad-supported streaming service in the US in December, as it overtakes Netflix in the race for paid subscribers.
The firm reported 221.1 million subscribers across its three streaming platforms at the start of July. That put it just ahead of Netflix, which has been losing customers. But Disney warned that its loss of streaming rights for cricket in India would reduce its subscriber growth compared to previous forecasts. The firm, which also owns adult television streaming platform Hulu and the sports-focused ESPN+, said demand for its Disney+ product remained strong. The company added 14.4 million Disney+ subscribers in the quarter, many of them outside of the US – far more than analysts had expected. Later this year it will launch a new ad-funded service, which will still be charged at the current subscription rate of $7.99. The charge for the ad-free service will rise to $10.99 per month.
The firm plans to launch its ad-funded service outside the US next year. Total revenues in the April-June period jumped 26% from last year, pushing profits to $1.5bn. Shares in the company jumped more than 6% in after-hours trade after the firm shared its results.
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