Disney shows off Disney Plus app, plans global rollout (updated with price)

Apr. 11, 2019 7:01 PM ETDIS, NFLXBy: Jason Aycock, SA News Editor207 Comments
  • After an investor presentation that mostly reiterated existing news, Disney's (NYSE:DIS) Kevin Mayer showed off the Disney Plus app -- which looks smooth, if largely very much like Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) or other mainstream streaming apps.
  • Disney Plus will launch in Western Europe over Q1 and Q2 of fiscal 2020, with Eastern Europe coming in the first part of fiscal 2021. An Asia Pacific launch will take place on a rolling basis throughout fiscal 2020.
  • Animated classics that have been in Disney's "vault" will be available to subscribers on Day One, Disney Animation's Jennifer Lee says. And Pixar's films will be available on day one as well, including Toy Story 4 and the company's animated shorts.
  • The presentation (still ongoing) seems to be saving the most anticipated possible news -- the price of the Disney Plus service -- for last. Brands are giving their own presentations about how they fit into the service.
  • Disney shares are down 0.1% after hours; NFLX is up 0.1%.
  • Updated 7:59 p.m.: And there it is: Disney Plus will launch Nov. 12, 2019, at $6.99/month, with an annual option of $69.99.
  • Updated 8:07 p.m.: CFO Christine McCarthy says Disney expects 60M-90M subscribers by the end of fiscal 2024 -- with about one-third coming domestically and two-thirds international. She adds cash investment in original content will be just over $1B for fiscal 2020, reaching to the mid-$2B range for fiscal 2024. Amortization expense will be less than $500M for fiscal 2020 and about $2B in 2024.
  • She expects operating expenses a little less than $1B for fiscal 2020, ramping up as subscribers grow (but at a smaller rate than revenue growth). Peak operating losses should come between 2020 and 2022, she says, with profitability coming in fiscal 2024.
  • She expects 8M-12M subs for ESPN Plus, and profitability there in fiscal 2023.
  • For Hulu, she projects 40M-60M paid subscribers in 2024, peak operating loss of $1.5B in fiscal 2019, with a slightly narrower loss for 2020, and profitability by fiscal 2023 or 2024.
  • Updated 8:14 p.m.: Price check -- DIS is down 0.3% after hours, to $116.30.

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