“Cancel Disney Plus” is trending on social media, according to CinemaBlend. Of course, “Disney Plus” means Disney+, but that does not matter. It is the sentiment. Disney sharply raised the price of Disney+, and many people are upset. The number of subscribers who may cancel is critical to Disney’s streaming business, which is essential to its financial future. (These companies have the best reputations.)
On August 9, The Wall Street Journal reported: “Wednesday’s price increases, which take effect in October, mean that the monthly cost of the ad-free stand-alone version of Disney+ has doubled to $13.99 from its 2019 introductory price of $6.99.” Disney+ has been on the ropes based on its subscriber count, which fell to 146.1 million last quarter from 157.8 million the quarter before. Disney’s streaming services lost $516 million in the period but have lost $10 billion since inception.
Disney CEO Bob Iger launched Disney+ in late November 2019. Its losses are his fault. He priced the service low to grow the subscriber count quickly. It did grow quickly but at a massive cost.
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Iger is in a bind. Larger rival Netflix has over 230 million subscribers and is profitable. Amazon Prime Video has over 200 million subscribers and is also said to be profitable. And more competitors could squeeze Disney’s subscriber count in the future. These include products from HBO, Paramount, Peacock and YouTube. Apple TV+ is the most challenging competitor. Apple has a nearly infinite amount of money to support it, as well as hundreds of millions of devices to which the tech company can market.
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Disney, in addition, has this cancellation problem. Price increases have been so aggressive that many people will cancel. It will take several quarters for that to be visible. Until then, the trending of “Cancel Disney Plus” indicates that numbers may be poor.
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