Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

Disney+ growth slowed in fourth quarter, but new markets are opening up

Disney+ added just 2.1 million subscribers in the three months leading up to October 2, 2021, the company reported in its fiscal fourth-quarter 2021 earnings, taking it to 118.1 million subscribers worldwide. That’s still a 60% increase year-over-year, however, and includes subscribers to the international Disney+ Hotstar and Star+ services.

For context, Netflix last reported 209.18 million paid subscribers as of July 20, 2021.

Bob Chapek, CEO of The Walt Disney Co., tried to keep things in perspective on the earnings call that followed the release. “We remain focused managing our [direct-to-consumer] service [Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu] for the long term, not quarter to quarter.”

Disney+ on a TV.
Phil Nickinson/Digital Trends

And there’s still growth to be had. Disney+ is poised to launch in South Korea and Taiwan on Friday, November 12 — Disney+ Day, which marks the 2-year anniversary of the launch of the service. And it’ll be available November 16 in Hong Kong. Chapek noted that Disney+ is now available in some 60 countries and in more than 20 languages.

“Next year, we plan to bring Disney+ to consumers in 50-plus additional countries,” Chapek said, “including Central Europe, the Middle East, and South Africa.”

Elsewhere, other Disney-owned streaming services saw growth in the quarter. ESPN+ is up to 17.1 million paid subscribers, after adding about 100,000 more subs than Disney+ did for the quarter. The Hulu on-demand service added about 600,000 subscribers to stand at 39.7 million subs and saw its seventh straight quarter of growth since Disney took the reins. And Hulu With Live TV clawed its way back to 4 million subscribers after three straight quarters of losses.

“As we celebrate the two-year anniversary of Disney+,” Chapek said in the earnings release, “we’re extremely pleased with the success of our streaming business, with 179 million total subscriptions across our DTC portfolio at the end of fiscal 2021 and 60% subscriber growth year-over-year for Disney+. We continue to manage our DTC business for the long-term, and are confident that our high-quality entertainment and expansion into additional markets worldwide will enable us to further grow our streaming platforms globally.”

Editors' Recommendations

Phil Nickinson
Section Editor, Audio/Video
Phil spent the 2000s making newspapers with the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, the 2010s with Android Central and then the…
How Avengers: Endgame perfectly sets up Disney’s upcoming Loki series
Loki in Thor Ragnorok

The future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe remains somewhat uncertain following the events of Avengers: Endgame, but the context for at least one confirmed upcoming project became a little clearer thanks to the Infinity War sequel.

Although Endgame left us with plenty of questions about the future of the MCU, it gave us a pretty good idea how the Loki series -- coming to Disney Plus -- will fit into the MCU.

Read more
Disney Plus: Our first look at Disney’s impressive new $7 streamer
disney plus streaming service marvel starwars pixar first look tv home mandalorian edit

Disney's new streaming service, Disney Plus, is on its way this fall, and the company that owns Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, and (seemingly) all of your other favorite franchises dropped a ton of information about the program during an investor's call on April 11. In short: Disney Plus costs $7 a month, it launches November 12, 2019, and it's full of stuff that you're going to want to see. Disney also mentioned the possibility to bundle Disney Plus, Hulu, and ESPN Plus, though the company did not confirm the move or talk pricing.

Here's everything else that we learned in our first look at Disney's sterling new Netflix competitor, Disney Plus.
Design and features

Read more
Next-gen optical disc can store over 14,000 4K movies
Panasonic DMP-BD91 BD blu-ray player tray

How many movies would you physically want to own if the events of Leave the World Behind were ever to come true? If your answer is around 14,000 or fewer, you may soon only need one optical disc to store them.

Scientists at the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology have developed a new "3D nanoscale optical disc" that's the same size and shape as a DVD or Blu-ray disc, yet it can hold an astonishing 1.6 petabits of data, according to a report by Charles Q. Choi in IEEE Spectrum. How much data is that in terms most folks can understand? It's about 200,000 GB or roughly the amount of space that 14,285 2-hour long, 4K movies would require, assuming each movie was 14 GB in size.

Read more