Streaming platform Disney+ lost a few million more subscribers, posting a second straight quarter of decline. Launched in late 2019 with the premiere of the popular series The Mandalorian, Disney+ has become home not only to content from the Star Wars universe but also Marvel, Pixar, along with content from National Geographic and more.
The streaming service’s subscriber base had grown steadily since its launch until the end of 2022 when Disney+ reported a subscriber loss of 2.4 million for the first time in its history.
According to Variety, Disney+ lost four million new subscribers during the first three months of 2023 and currently has 157.8 million subscribers.
As in the previous quarter, the primary factor driving the subscriber loss was the continued decline of Disney+ Hotstar, which is the version of the streaming service offered in India and parts of Southeast Asia. Last year, Disney+ lost the rights to stream Indian Premier League cricket matches, resulting in a significant churn of subscribers in those regions.
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In international markets, excluding Disney+ Hotstar, the streaming service added nearly a million subscribers. The recent Disney+ price increase, which started in the United States late last year, also rolled out internationally in early 2023, affecting the bottom line.
Insiders in the US entertainment industry say an important factor was the high churn rate when people cancel subscriptions when new content is not offered.
After a dry spell for fans of Star Wars and Marvel content, the most-watched series, The Mandalorian, returned for a third season in March, although it was the least-watched and worst-received season.