As Disney approaches its third round of expected layoffs and deals with production delays due to the ongoing writers strike, the company delivered more bad news to investors. Its flagship streaming service, Disney+, lost a whopping four million subscribers in Q2 2023, bringing the total to 157.8 million subscribers, compared to 161.8 million subs in the previous quarter. Analysts expected 163.17 million.
Last quarter, Disney+ reported its first subscriber loss since its inception in 2019. The flagship streamer saw a drop in 2.4 million subscribers in Q1 2023.
CEO Bob Iger revealed during the last earnings call that Disney is set to undergo major restructuring, including job cuts that will affect 7,000 employees. So far, the company has had two waves of layoffs, with one more on the way.
Iger also previously announced Disney’s plans to save $5.5 billion in costs, including $3 billion in content spending. Disney also noted that it wants to prioritize the Marvel and Star Wars franchises over other titles.
However, the company recently paused productions for Marvel’s “Blade” and Star Wars series “Andor” as a result of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike, which kicked off last week after the group failed to reach a satisfactory agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.
Rightly so, the writers are demanding higher compensation and fairer streaming residuals. In the streaming age, jobs are less consistent for writers since shows typically have fewer seasons than shows on cable.
If less content were to release on Disney+ because of the strike, more viewers would likely consider canceling their subscriptions.