Iger said Disney added 1,000 new advertisers to its streaming business in the past year, bringing its total number of partners to 5,000. Over one-third of those advertisers are buying Disney streaming inventory programmatically, or through real-time automated buying platforms. According to Disney, all categories have grown in year-over-year programmatic transactions, with particular strength in consumer packaged goods, retail, auto, tech and telecommunications. Disney's programmatic push may be a boon to advertisers looking to spend budgets over time and more flexibly due to economic headwinds.
Disney introduced a new ad-supported tier for Disney+ in December, hiking the cost of the ad-free version by 38% to $11 a month in the process. While boosting revenue, the move appears to be costing the company customers: Paid subscriptions to Disney+ fell for the second straight quarter to 157.8 million. Analysts had expected 163.1 million.
Total revenue for the company rose 13% to $21.8 billion in the period ended April 1, driven by strong performance of the company’s theme parks. Adjusted earnings of 93 cents per share decreased from the same period last year.
The company’s resorts and consumer products unit boosted income by 23% to $2.17 billion, in part due to a return to profitability for the company’s international theme parks.
Profit at Disney’s traditional TV business, including the ESPN cable networks and ABC’s broadcasting business, fell 35% to $1.83 billion, the result of higher sports programming costs and lower advertising.
CEO Bob Iger has been working to achieve profitability in streaming by 2024. As part of a wider plan to put Disney on a better financial footing, he’s cutting $5.5 billion in annual costs and culling 7,000 jobs from the entertainment giant’s workforce.
“We’re pleased with our accomplishments this quarter, including the improved financial performance of our streaming business, which reflect the strategic changes we’ve been making throughout the company,” Iger said in a statement.
Disney shares fell 1% to $101.13 at the close Wednesday in New York.