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Disney Streaming (Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu) Has Surpassed Netflix for Subscribers

Disney beat Netflix by around 1 million total subscribers.

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The Walt Disney Company has surpassed Netflix for subscribers across Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu, coming in at 221 million, per its most recent quarterly earnings report.

Netflix clocked in at 220 global million subscribers in its Q2 2022 call. According to CNBC, Disney also announced it would raise prices on its subscription offerings.

In the U.S., beginning December 8, Disney+ with ads will cost $7.99 a month, and no-ad Disney+ will increase to $10.99 a month, the outlet added.

The company also announced price increases for Hulu's ad and no-ad plans, by $1 and $2 a month, respectively, to $7.99 and $14.99, per CNBC. This is in the larger context of large operating losses posted by Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu, which were $1.1 billion in the fiscal third quarter even though they were expected, the outlet added.

It's hardly the latest company to shift strategy as the streaming wars encounter a tougher economic environment. Even long anti-advertising Netflix recently bowed to an ad-supported tier after losing a little over 1 million subscribers in Q1 and Q2.

Some have called the current environment a "bifurcation" economy, where people with less money -- buffeted by inflation and the loss of pandemic stimulus -- are pulling back on spending (such as, one could imagine, by canceling one of their subscription services) and the wealthy are spending more on luxury goods, Insider reported.

In that context, it makes sense that providers would try to offer cheaper subscriptions, especially as competition increases.

One streamer, at least, is restructuring. Warner Bros. Discovery announced last week that it would be combining Discovery+ and HBO Max into a new platform and cutting back on original programming.

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