It’s been almost two years since Disney+ exploded on to the streaming scene in November 2019. Now, 116 million global subscribers later, the service is a staple in digital entertainment. But its skyrocket growth was bound to slow down at some point, and this next chapter just might be that moment.
At a recent Q&A session at the Goldman Sachs 30th Annual Communacopia Conference, Disney CEO Bob Chapek mentioned that Disney+’s subscriber growth is starting to slow down, mentioning that “business is not linear.”
“I think people looked at our projections last December and said, they want to get to 230, 260 or whatever the numbers are and they divided by the number of quarters, say they need to add X per quarter.
What we are finding out as you’ve seen from our last several quarters in terms of our earnings is that these numbers are tend to be a lot noisier than a straight line. They are not a straight line relationship quarter-to-quarter-to-quarter, and indeed we’ve seen some of that this current quarter. We are very confident about our long-term sub growth as we have been.
In Q4, I think what you can expect to see is that our global paid subs will increase by low single-digit millions of subscribers versus Q3. But importantly, our core market sub growth will continue both domestically and internationally in Q4, but we hit some headwinds.”
Chapek dropped another bombshell during the Q&A where he mentioned they were toying with the idea of advertising on Disney+. However, the model wouldn’t necessarily be how the company. has approached advertising on Hulu.
“…Disney+ has a lot of kids that watch it, and the taste for us to consider advertising on something like Disney+ would be completely different than it might be on a Hulu. So then again, you take that individual, no one size fits all type approach that we are looking at across the world,” Chapek Said.
But for right now, again, really happy with sort of the à la carte mode that we have with this bundling opportunity and keeping things the way they are, but that doesn’t say that in the future, we might not look at different opportunities for an increased level of addressable advertising across our platforms.”
While it doesn’t sound like advertising on Disney+ is in the cards very soon, it definitely is a possibility (and maybe even a liklehood) that Disney+ will start incorporating advertising in some way to keep generating more revenue now that subscriber growth is slowing down.