Overall, the company grew revenue 45% compared with Q3 of 2020 to $17.022bn, with net income rebounding from the $4.7bn loss in Q3 2020 to a profit of 9223m.
The Walt Disney Company has recorded a total of nearly 174m subscriptions across Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu at the end of the quarter and expects this figure to grow higher as a host of new content lands on the platforms.
Disney+ streaming service passed 116m global subscribers in Q3, more than double year-on-year. Its US-based services also saw growth, with Hulu up 21% to 42.8m subscribers and ESPN+ jumping 75% to 14.9m, for a total of 174m subscribers across the Disney streamers.
Earnings per share, meanwhile, outperformed Wall Street expectations, reaching 80 cents, up from just eight cents at the same time last year, and way above the 56 cents predicted by analysts.
Overall, for Q3 the company grew revenue 45% compared with the Q3 2020 to $17.022bn, with net income rebounding from the $4.7bn loss in Q3 2020 to a profit of 9223m. Looking at key segments, the Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution division saw revenues grow 18% on annual basis to $12.681bn with the contribution of $6.956bn from linear networks, up 16% compared with the same period of 2020, and $4.256bn from direct-to-consumer (+57%).
In the latter, all the three product lines showed strong growth in customers. The Disney+ juggernaut regained momentum after a relatively slow Q2 and ended Q3 with 116m subscribers, adding 58.5m subscribers since the end of Q3 2020 while ESPN+ subscribers grew 75% year-on-year to 14.9m. Total Hulu subs were up 21% on an annual basis to 42.8m.
However, the average monthly revenue per paid subscriber for Disney+ decreased from $4.62 in Q3 2020 to $4.16 in Q3 2021 due to a higher mix of Disney+ Hotstar subscribers in the current quarter compared with the prior-year quarter, partially offset by a lower mix of wholesale subscribers and increases in retail pricing. ESPN+ ARPU increased from $4.18 to $4.47 due to an increase in retail pricing and higher per-subscriber advertising revenue, while the average monthly revenue per paid subscriber for the Hulu SVOD Only service increased from $11.39 to $13.15. Hulu Live TV + SVOD service increased from $68.11 to $84.09 due to increases in retail pricing, per-subscriber advertising revenue and per-subscriber premium and feature add-on revenue.
Domestic Channels revenues for the quarter increased 13% to $5.6bn and operating income decreased 37% to $1.8bn. The decrease in operating income was due to a decrease at cable and to a lesser extent, at broadcasting.
International Channels revenues for the quarter increased 29% to $1.4bn and operating income decreased 23% to $169m. The decrease in operating income was due to higher programming and production costs, partially offset by advertising revenue growth due to increases in average viewership and rates. The increases in programming and production costs and average viewership were driven by the return of live sports events, primarily Indian Premier League cricket matches.
Commenting on the Q3 2021 results, Bob Chapek, CEO of The Walt Disney Company, said: “We ended the Q3 in a strong position, and are pleased with the Company’s trajectory as we grow our businesses amidst the ongoing challenges of the pandemic. We continue to introduce exciting new experiences at our parks and resorts worldwide, along with new guest-centric services, and our direct-to-consumer business is performing very well, with a total of nearly 174m subscriptions across Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu at the end of the quarter, and a host of new content coming to the platforms.”