Disney has overtaken Netflix as the world’s largest streaming operator, reporting a total of 221.1 million paying streaming customers across its platforms in its latest financial quarter.

The company added 14.4 million Disney+ accounts in the second quarter, many of them outside of the US - far more than analysts had expected.

Disney+ (Ivan Marc)

Disney+ has overtaken Netflix in total number of subscribers

It helped Disney overtake Netflix’s total of 220.67 million subscribers worldwide.

Disney+ now has a total of 93.6 million subscribers, while Asia focused Disney+ Hotstar has 58.4 million for a total Disney+ base of 152.1 million.

Disney’s sports streamer ESPN+ grew 53% to 42.2 million subscribers. Hulu meanwhile increased by 8% in the same period to 46.2 million.

But prices are going up

Disney also confirmed that it will launch a new ad-funded Disney+ service later this year, which will still be charged at the current subscription rate of $7.99. The charge for the ad-free service will rise to $10.99 per month and from $79.99 per year to $109.99 per year.

The firm plans to launch its ad-funded service outside the US in 2023.

The company lowered its long-term subscriber forecast for Disney+ customers, blaming the loss of cricket rights in India.

Disney now projects between 215 million and 245 million total Disney+ customers by the end of September 2024. That number is down from the 230 million to 260 million subscribers that Disney had been forecasting.

Overall revenue, however, remains strong, rising 26% from a year earlier to $21.5 billion, ahead of the analyst consensus of $20.96 billion.

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