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Disney raises Disney+ price to $8 per month, triples subscriber projections for 2024

Daniel Roberts
·Editor-at-Large
·2 min read
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Disney (DIS) will raise the monthly price of its Disney+ streaming service to $7.99 per month in March 2021, it announced on Thursday at its 2020 Investor Day. It will be the first price hike since the service launched in November 2019.

The reveal of the price hike came toward the end of a four-hour presentation that previewed a mountain of new original content coming to Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ in the next two years. Those content investments will make streaming even more costly for Disney in 2021 than it was in 2020.

CFO Christine McCarthy shared that Disney expects losses from Disney+ to peak in 2021, and expects the service to achieve profitability in 2024. By that year, Disney expects to be spending between $14 billion and $16 billion on original content.

Disney’s streaming push (including a corporate reorganization to prioritize direct-to-consumer content) has been successful in reaping subscribers. Disney says Disney+ now has 86.8 million paying subscribers as of Dec. 2, Hulu has 38.8 million, and ESPN+ has 11.5 million.

That’s 137 million paying subscriptions across Disney’s streaming platforms.

PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 28: In this photo illustration, Disney + logo is diplayed on the screen of an iPhone in front of a television screen showing a Disney + logo on March 28, 2020 in Paris, France. At the request of the French government, the Disney + streaming platform has decided to postpone its launch in France to April 7. (Photo Illustration by Chesnot/Getty Images)
In this photo illustration, Disney + logo is diplayed on the screen of an iPhone in front of a television screen showing a Disney + logo on March 28, 2020 in Paris. (Photo Illustration by Chesnot/Getty Images)

Disney in turn dramatically hiked its Disney+ subscriber projections for the end of 2024 to a range of 230 million to 260 million globally (up from its own guidance of 60 million to 90 million given in April 2019), and 300 million to 350 million subscriptions across all of its streaming services.

But first, Disney will have to watch for any potential subscriber attrition in March 2021 from its first price hike, a process its rival Netflix (NFLX) goes through every two years on average.

Daniel Roberts is an editor-at-large at Yahoo Finance and closely covers Disney and the streaming wars. Follow him on Twitter at @readDanwrite.

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