Disney+ has grown to become one of the world’s leading streaming services, but in just one year, one big change will completely transform the service, experts say.
The Walt Disney Company’s streaming service arrived in the US in 2019. Since debuting with a relatively small selection of originals, Disney+’s offerings have grown exponentially. From Jon Favreau The Mandalorian to the last season of Star Wars: The Bad Batch and the upcoming home release of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022), Disney+ gives viewers access to the House of Mouse’s gigantic animated and live-action catalog.
But despite the massive increase in subscribers over the past three years and the company’s delivery of several big-budget efforts, particularly at Lucasfilm and Marvel Studios, Disney+ is still not profitable. This has caused an uproar in the stock market with many investors worried about Disney’s streaming position. The frustration with Disney+ is partly why Bob Chapek was ousted from the CEO role with Chapek’s own predecessor, Bob Iger, taking over the reins of the business.
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Iger has always been steadfast in his vision for Disney to remain a creative powerhouse, and Disney+ Originals is a surefire way to keep the Mickey Mouse magic alive. Now experts find that by the year 2024, Disney+ will be a completely different model; that is, the streamer will at least break even.
Speaking to Yahoo Finance, Macquarie Senior Media Tech Analyst Tim Nollen talked about the current demand for streaming, as well as the forecast for Disney+. The report discusses how, as more and more companies move to direct-to-consumer options, audiences need to be more selective of their choices – last year marked a turning point for streaming giant Netflix.
Commenting on Disney’s commitment to delivering a strong content base, Nollen says that by 2024, Disney+ could be a completely different service:
“In Disney’s case, it looks like calendar year ’22 may have been the worst time in terms of operating performance for the streaming service. They’ve signaled pretty strongly that they intend to get that service to profitability over the next eight quarters, so sometime in fiscal ’24. As soon as four to six quarters from now, you can get the DTC, the Direct to Consumer, the streaming services — which are Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ — to go into at least break-even status …”
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The analyst also suggested that the return of Iger as Disney chief could instill some of the magic audiences have lacked in recent years:
I don’t know if there are big, big strategic changes coming, but if [Iger] might just bring the magic touch back to Disney, I think the stock can bounce back.
This year will bring Iger’s first earnings call since his reinstatement, and many expect the CEO to make plans for both Disney Parks and Disney+, among other business assets. Only time will tell if Disney can bring their streaming service into the green, and all eyes are sure to be on the stock after Iger reveals his plan.
Do you think Disney+ will break even in 2024? Let us know in the comments below!