Disney+ to the rescue of Mickey's Empire

Disney+ to the rescue of Mickey’s Empire

Netflix’s competing streaming platform claims nearly 74 million subscribers. Penalized by its amusement parks, the American group suffered its second consecutive quarter of losses.

“The positive point is the direct-to-consumer service activity, which is the key to the future of our company”, underlined Bob Chapek, the boss of Disney.

In Washington

Disney sinks into the red, but its shareholders remain optimistic. . But, above all, the new boss since February, Bob Chapek, has so far managed to convince Wall Street that Disney deserves to be valued more as a digital heavyweight like Netflix, and no longer as a traditional film and television studio. television which also operates theme parks.

The incredible success of the launch of Disney+, the Burbank (California) firm’s video-on-demand service, allows us to bet on an accelerated transformation of the empire created a century ago by Walt Disney. In eleven months, Disney + has managed to recruit nearly 74 million subscribers. This is almost 10 million more than analysts’ forecasts. The new direct distribution channel for productions from various Disney studios opens up significant growth prospects, regardless of the pandemic release schedule. Provided of course that Disney+ generates profits, which is still far from the case.

As U.S. markets opened on Friday, Disney’s stock was up 4%, despite news of a 23% plunge in the company’s quarterly revenue and losses of $710 million. . This time last year, Disney was earning about as much.

Profits in 2024

The pandemic, travel restrictions and crowds are ravaging the group’s essential activities. Starting with that of its theme parks. Disneyland in California has been closed since March and is not set to reopen. DisneyWorld in Florida must limit its attendance to 35% of its capacity. Similar restrictions handicap its attractions in Europe and Asia. The pole of the group where these activities are housed shows 1.1 billion dollars of losses during the last three months. Worse, the reconfinement which is becoming widespread in many countries promises an even more catastrophic winter. At the end of September, Disney’s American parks began laying off 28,000 people. As for Disney Cruse Line cruises, they are suspended indefinitely.

Since March, cinemas have emptied, large chains operating theaters have suspended their activity, while many filmings are impossible. Disney’s profits in this business fell 61% in the last quarter. This is where Disney+ gives hope for better prospects. The streaming platform launched a year ago, certainly announces losses of 580 million dollars. This brings the deficit to $2.8 billion over the past year. But patience: Disney+ is supposed to make a profit in 2024. In the meantime, Bob Chapek promises to continue to reserve for his internet subscribers the release of the few productions that manage to emerge, despite the pandemic. This was the case in September with Mulan, to the despair of cinemas. This will be the case in mid-January with WandaVision, the first film in a series based on characters from Marvel Entertainment.