Streaming: markets & content

Once WarnerMedia and Discovery’s proposed merger met regulatory hurdles, the deal reportedly closed on Friday, April 8, 2022. Discovery+ reported 20mm paid subscribers in 2021 with more than 55,000 episodes from more than 2,500 series across networks, including HGTV, Food Network, TLC, ID, OWN, Travel Channel, Discovery Channel and Animal Planet, and soon, adding HBOMax, with 73.8mm subscribers for a grand total 94mm global subscribers (HBOMax is available in 61 territories and 46 countries). Warner Bros. Discovery will be the name of the new service. The goal is to achieve 200mm+ subscribers to compete with Netflix and Disney.

Disney reported 118mm subscribers with slowing subscriber rates in 2021. Disney claims that the losses suffered are due to Covid related production delays which cause a gap in content needed to draw new subscribers. Disney suggested that it will recover from such losses by the end of 2022, delivering new content from brands Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar and NatGeo. Adding in ESPN and Hulu, the total Disney subscriber base is 196mm. Hulu offers 100,000 on-demand shows and movies and 75 TV channels (but not AMC or Hallmark). Disney+ will debut in 42 countries and 11 territories in Europe, Middle East and Africa. Disney plans to spend a staggering 33mm dollars on content in 2022 with 1/3 of that being sports rights so roughly 22mm on non-sports content (compared to 18 billion dollars by Netflix).

updated: May 18, 2022

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