London, Europe Brief News – The Walt Disney Company edged past Netflix with a total of 221 million streaming customers.
It further announced it will increase prices for customers who want to watch Disney+ or Hulu without commercials.
The media giant will raise the monthly cost of Disney+ without advertising by 38 per cent to $10.99 (€10.68) in December when it begins to offer a new option that includes ads for the current price.
Shares of Disney rose 6.9 per cent in after-hours trading to $120.15 (€116) on Wednesday.
Disney in 2017 staked its future on building a streaming service to rival Netflix as audiences moved to online viewing from traditional cable and broadcast television.
Five years later, Disney has edged past Netflix in total streaming customers. The Mouse House added 14.4 million Disney+ customers, beating the consensus of 10 million expected by analysts polled by FactSet, as it released “Star Wars” series “Obi-Wan Kenobi” and Marvel’s “Ms. Marvel.”
Combined with Hulu and ESPN+, Disney said it had 221.1 million streaming subscribers at the end of the June quarter. Netflix said it had 220.7 million streaming subscribers.
“Disney is gaining market share when Netflix is struggling to add more subscribers,” Investing.com analyst Haris Anwar said. “Disney has still more room to grow in international markets where it’s rolling out its service fast and adding new customers”.
To help attract new customers, Disney will offer an ad-supported version starting on Dec. 8 for $7.99 (€7.76) a month, the same price it now charges for the ad-free version, the company said.
Prices for Hulu will rise by $1 (€0.97) to $2 per month in December depending on the plan.