Disney+ has lost several more million subscribers, now the second time the streaming service has reported a decline. Launched in late 2019 with the premiere of The Mandalorian, Disney+ has become the home not only for Star Wars content, but Marvel, Pixar, National Geographic, and much more. The streaming service’s subscriber base had been growing steadily since its launch, until late 2022 when Disney+ reported a subscriber loss of 2.4 million for the first time in its history.
Now, months after Disney+ lost subscribers for the first time, the streaming service has lost several more million subscribers in its second straight quarterly drop. According to Variety, Disney+ shed another 4 million subscribers during the first three months of 2023. Right now, Disney+ stands at 157.8 million total subscribers.
Why Disney+ Keeps Losing Subscribers
Just like last quarter, the primary factor driving the subscriber loss is the continued decline of Disney+ Hotstar, which is the version of the streaming service offered in India and parts of Southeast Asia. In 2022, Disney lost the rights to stream Indian Premier League cricket matches, which resulted in a significant subscriber purge in those regions. In international markets excluding Disney+ Hotstar, the streaming service actually added nearly 1 million subscribers. The recent Disney+ price increase which started in the United States also rolled out internationally in early 2023.
A high churn rate, which is when people unsubscribe when no new content is being offered, could be another reason driving the second straight quarterly loss for Disney+. After a dry spell of Star Wars and Marvel content, the streamer’s flagship series The Mandalorian season 3 returned this past March, though it was the show’s least-watched and worst-received season yet. Marvel won’t be offering a new show until Secret Invasion premieres on June 21. Unless Nick Fury is the savior who brings Disney+ subscribers back, it looks like this downward trend might continue for the foreseeable future.