Hulu With Live TV just increased its lead in the battle to be the biggest live TV streaming service in the United States. The Disney-owned service had 4 million paid subscribers as of October 2, 2021, according to Disney’s earnings report on the company’s fourth quarter of the fiscal year.
That’s up about 300,000 subscribers from the previous quarter, but still down about 100,000 subs from the same point in 2020.
“This has been a very productive year for The Walt Disney Company, as we’ve made great strides in reopening our businesses while taking meaningful and innovative steps in direct-to-consumer (DTC) and at our parks, particularly with our popular new Disney Genie and Magic Key offerings,” Disney CEO Bob Chapek said in the earnings report. “As we celebrate the two-year anniversary of Disney+, 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 longterm, and are confident that our high-quality entertainment and expansion into additional markets worldwide will enable us to further grow our streaming platforms globally.”
YouTube TV — the only other live service in the same ballpark as Hulu With Live TV — last gave rough numbers of “more than 3 million” in October 2020. It hasn’t updated its subscriber numbers since.
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Meanwhile, Disney+ also saw a modest increase in the previous three months and now stands at a total 118.1 million paid subscribers, up a little more than 2 million for the quarter, and up about 44.4 million year-over-year thanks to the global rollout of the service. That number is a worldwide total and includes Disney+ Hotstar and Star+ services in various international markets.
ESPN+, meanwhile, added about 2.2 million subscribers for the quarter to stand at 17.1 million total, up about 5.6 million year-over-year.
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