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Subscription video a bright spot for Disney as physical business verticals struggle

Disney+ has amassed 73.7 million subscribers, vastly exceeding its initial expectations. This growth came as theme parks, rides, and cruise businesses suffered enormously for the company, which posted its first annual loss in 40 years. The company re-structured recently with a focus on streaming, and that seems to be paying off. Around three-fourths of Disney+ subscribers pay the company an average of US$5.30, the Walt Disney Company's CFO Christine McCarthy said in an earnings call. Over 18 million India subscriptions: Disney+ Hotstar has over 18 million subscriptions, McCarthy indicated. Monthly ARPU from Hotstar has increased more than threefold to around ₹160, according to an analysis of the numbers provided by Disney. This translates to US$39.24 million monthly revenue from Hotstar. Disney has a "deep bench" in India: Asked about Star India chief Uday Shankar's departure, Disney CEO Bob Chapek said, "In terms of India, obviously, we have an executive there, Uday Shankar, who we love, and we wish him well. He gave us some indication several months ago that he was thinking of moving on. We've got a really deep bench there." As for Hotstar's performance, McCarthy refused to go into detail (though a lot was implied clearly), saying, "[As for] the comments that I gave on the Hotstar Disney+ India subs, we just don't comment on those economics." PVOD strategy "promising": Due to theatre closures, the film Mulan was released on Disney+ first as a transactional video-on-demand title, requiring separate payment from the subscription fee. Chapek said, "Unfortunately, that title met…

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I cover the digital content ecosystem and telecom for MediaNama.

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